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Cataleya

Cataleya Means Business

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We only have room for creating so many habits at once. My suggestion is to look at each of the goals you've been working on and evaluate which are still hard for you and which are now becoming easy enough that you do not have to make (as) conscious effort to hit them. At some point soon you should be able to free up a goal "slot" or two. It's definitely a balance between holding onto one goal too long and setting it into the wild too soon. My sleep goals are so like the latter. We try and sometimes there's error, but the great thing is you can always bring a goal back into the spotlight, right? It's not ever really one and done.
This was a really good suggestion. I checked into the tavern on Habitica so not hitting goals wouldn't hurt, and just kind of thought about what I should still track. I do think I need to track medicine as the number of meds and vitamins makes it difficult to remember what I've taken and not taken, and I might need a few more weeks on water. 10k steps I'm not sure I need since Fitbit tells me when I hit that goal and I can easily check it. I'm going to have to think about the other ones when I check out if the tavern tomorrow.
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Merry Christmas everyone! How was your holiday?

 

So quick update as I take a break from Steve's book and process what I'm reading. Once my credit card payment goes through I am going to get an Academy subscription and see if the info there is helpful for me as I move forward.

 

I've been thinking about my 2018 roadmap and think I want to come up with three health goals and three other goals that I can't really name. Still brainstorming, but I wanted to run my ideas by you all.

 

Health

* Lose 40lbs (get to ~160lbs). I managed to get to 178lbs with some help last year and I think now that my situation is more stable and I can afford good food and such I should be able to handle things. I think even with my PCOS and hypothyroidism I can lose less than 1lb a week.

* Participate in 4 5+k races. Running isn't my favorite thing but I think because of that I feel super accomplished when I complete one. It's a nice non-weight goal.

* Do a pull up. I've just always wanted to do one.

 

Peace of mind

* Save up enough money to go on vacation with Schatz. We look at cruises often and I always want to go back to Europe but to do that I'm going to need to save, and Schatz will probably need to get a job to help with the saving.

* Read 20 books. This is a yearly goal that I keep to keep me sane and also in touch with something other than academia. (Some of those 20 end up being books that relate to my field but most don't.)

* Improve my German. I need a way to make this more measurable, but I really feel disconnected to Germany lately and it makes me sad.

 

So yeah. Thoughts? Suggestions?

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Merry Christmas! It's actually not a holiday here, so I spent it just like a regular day. Hope you had fun.

 

14 hours ago, Cataleya said:

* Improve my German. I need a way to make this more measurable, but I really feel disconnected to Germany lately and it makes me sad.

 

 

Depends on how much you know, but I would pick a book/video and make it a goal to be able to understand the entire thing. It works because reading levels and comprehension levels are a thing, and you an pick people that speak faster and faster and being able to follow it while doing something else.

I really need to do this but I feel so demotivated to learn German - English was easy because I had a lot of exposure to it, but I haven't found a way to implement it in German, and I am a beginning level with a sucky grasp of grammar.

 

14 hours ago, Cataleya said:

Do a pull up. I've just always wanted to do one.

 

We have the same goal and the same reason :D If you need a cheerleader let me know, I need to get back to making my arms stronger. Can you do a push up?

 

14 hours ago, Cataleya said:

* Lose 40lbs (get to ~160lbs). I managed to get to 178lbs with some help last year and I think now that my situation is more stable and I can afford good food and such I should be able to handle things. I think even with my PCOS and hypothyroidism I can lose less than 1lb a week.

 

Just also work on not feeling like a failure if you don't make that goal, just in case. No reason to kick yourself over it.

 

On the other stuff I can't quote because they are on the other page - boy do I understand the over-tracking thing. I really like organisation and it's why I resisted the My Fitness Pal thing even if I've always been curious.

And that guy sounds like an ass. I'd be super glad to see him just fall flat on his face while flaunting his stupidity and you can chuckle to yourself and feel lighter. I know it's hard but try and not let it get to you, equate him with an annoying buzzing sound that will fade over time. :D

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Finally caught up. Following. (This gives the Instagram a little more context.) I've worked with a few folks with PCOS. Wife has it. Curious about how you personally deal with it.

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23 hours ago, Echocheanic said:

Merry Christmas! It's actually not a holiday here, so I spent it just like a regular day. Hope you had fun.

 

Depends on how much you know, but I would pick a book/video and make it a goal to be able to understand the entire thing. It works because reading levels and comprehension levels are a thing, and you an pick people that speak faster and faster and being able to follow it while doing something else.

I really need to do this but I feel so demotivated to learn German - English was easy because I had a lot of exposure to it, but I haven't found a way to implement it in German, and I am a beginning level with a sucky grasp of grammar.

 

We have the same goal and the same reason :D If you need a cheerleader let me know, I need to get back to making my arms stronger. Can you do a push up?

 

Just also work on not feeling like a failure if you don't make that goal, just in case. No reason to kick yourself over it.

 

On the other stuff I can't quote because they are on the other page - boy do I understand the over-tracking thing. I really like organisation and it's why I resisted the My Fitness Pal thing even if I've always been curious.

 

And that guy sounds like an ass. I'd be super glad to see him just fall flat on his face while flaunting his stupidity and you can chuckle to yourself and feel lighter. I know it's hard but try and not let it get to you, equate him with an annoying buzzing sound that will fade over time. :D

I know quite a bit of German, as a native speaker, I just haven't spoken it regularly, since I live in the States and despite the area where I live claiming German heritage, they only really know the cultural stereotypes and almost none of the language. So there aren't many opportunities for me to practice. I think I'm going to start listening to German radio again, but I probably want to do something else as well.

 

I can do a pushup, but not several. Between my weight and the weakness in my wrist from fracturing it as a kid, pushups have always been harder for me, but I can do them. I just have to do knee pushups if I'm going to do more than a few.

 

I don't really kick myself too hard, thankfully, unless it is legitimately my fault that I don't achieve something. Like if I know I am supposed to do something and actively don't. 

 

I don't often wish people ill but I do hope that he's held accountable for what he does. Unfortunately, I don't think he will.

 

1 hour ago, Machete said:

Finally caught up. Following. (This gives the Instagram a little more context.) I've worked with a few folks with PCOS. Wife has it. Curious about how you personally deal with it.

Well, I don't know if I deal with it well, but mostly I've just been trying to learn. Not in the gathering underpants way, but rather learning strategies. There isn't a lot of understanding of PCOS but it seems like a lot of people are saying low carb helps, Metformin helps, strength training helps. So that's kind of where I've started. I dropped soda, am trying to drop other sugary stuff (will be easier once the holidays are over), keeping an eye on my macros but not chaining myself to them. Bodyweight training for now, trying to figure out exactly what I want my strength goals to be. I keep coming up short on ideas. 

 

I take my Metformin like I'm supposed to, go to the doctor as regularly as my time and money allows. When they suggest something, I do it, even if I don't think it'll do anything. If nothing else, I can go back and be like, "I did this and this and even this and nothing changed." I don't know what your wife's experience is like but I have a crap track record with doctors not believing I'm doing what they're telling me to do, so I don't know if that even helps. So I have to learn a lot on my own. Occasionally I get phentermine from the doc as an appetite suppressant, but I'm really careful with it. You don't want to take it for too long since it's addictive (though I haven't had problems with it), and it is just a bandaid, but it does help with weight loss in short spurts, and it has been helpful when I've hit some kind of plateau. I kind of see it as an intermittent fasting aid.

 

I stay away from pop science when possible. Stay away from fads. Mostly just trying to simplify, eat well, and move. We'll see if that helps in 2018. I did lose like 20lbs a couple years ago with this strategy, so I'm hopeful now that my life is a bit more stable that I can build habits and keep them. 

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On 12/27/2017 at 1:56 PM, Cataleya said:

Well, I don't know if I deal with it well, but mostly I've just been trying to learn. Not in the gathering underpants way, but rather learning strategies. There isn't a lot of understanding of PCOS but it seems like a lot of people are saying low carb helps, Metformin helps, strength training helps. So that's kind of where I've started. I dropped soda, am trying to drop other sugary stuff (will be easier once the holidays are over), keeping an eye on my macros but not chaining myself to them. Bodyweight training for now, trying to figure out exactly what I want my strength goals to be. I keep coming up short on ideas. 

 

I take my Metformin like I'm supposed to, go to the doctor as regularly as my time and money allows. When they suggest something, I do it, even if I don't think it'll do anything. If nothing else, I can go back and be like, "I did this and this and even this and nothing changed." I don't know what your wife's experience is like but I have a crap track record with doctors not believing I'm doing what they're telling me to do, so I don't know if that even helps. So I have to learn a lot on my own. Occasionally I get phentermine from the doc as an appetite suppressant, but I'm really careful with it. You don't want to take it for too long since it's addictive (though I haven't had problems with it), and it is just a bandaid, but it does help with weight loss in short spurts, and it has been helpful when I've hit some kind of plateau. I kind of see it as an intermittent fasting aid.

 

I stay away from pop science when possible. Stay away from fads. Mostly just trying to simplify, eat well, and move. We'll see if that helps in 2018. I did lose like 20lbs a couple years ago with this strategy, so I'm hopeful now that my life is a bit more stable that I can build habits and keep them. 

 

She's got the whole package--PCOS, Hashimotos', hypothyroid, further complicated by a shorter left leg and heel spurs. Metformin really messes her up, so that's out. She has had success in the past with basic strength/hypertrophy training and low(er) carb. But life got in the way and she gained about 100 lbs. Walking is out because of the heel spurs, and bodyweight is out. She seems to be able to make weight out of the little food we can afford, as she's either completely tanked her metabolism or she's finding a way to make secret extra money to buy snacks :P. This gives me a perspective of the downward spiral that people get into, and helps me feel compassion for the ones society seems to just dismiss as "lazy." I still haven't found a way to address it though.

 

The biggest part seems to be that for everyone, achieving their goals takes a lot more work and time than they imagined. In my experience, for those with PCOS, the ridiculous-enough effort that is required is multiplied exponentially, and that is extremely discouraging. Even if one is able to take care of all the planning and time management, it still takes a superhuman amount of discipline to show up day-in and day-out to not see any results. One such couple I trained, I would go to their house 4 times a week at 10-11 at night after they came home from work. They showed intense dedication but still got discouraged, because for that amount of effort they probably felt like they should have been getting more results. (I'm blaming bullshit like The Biggest Loser and every other ding-dong posting misleading transformation photos in Instagram.) Another case are sisters at our gym. One has PCOS and has to show up three times as much as her sister to still be bigger than her.

 

Right now I'm just trying to find a balance between being sympathetic to her plight and calling her out on her excuses. She was dealt bad cards; it's life on "Hard Mode" but she still has to live it. I'm autistic and depressed, and I still put myself out there every day; I feel she should be able to show up and strength train twice a week.

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On 12/28/2017 at 11:56 AM, Machete said:

She's got the whole package--PCOS, Hashimotos', hypothyroid, further complicated by a shorter left leg and heel spurs. Metformin really messes her up, so that's out. She has had success in the past with basic strength/hypertrophy training and low(er) carb. But life got in the way and she gained about 100 lbs. Walking is out because of the heel spurs, and bodyweight is out. She seems to be able to make weight out of the little food we can afford, as she's either completely tanked her metabolism or she's finding a way to make secret extra money to buy snacks :P. This gives me a perspective of the downward spiral that people get into, and helps me feel compassion for the ones society seems to just dismiss as "lazy." I still haven't found a way to address it though.

 

The biggest part seems to be that for everyone, achieving their goals takes a lot more work and time than they imagined. In my experience, for those with PCOS, the ridiculous-enough effort that is required is multiplied exponentially, and that is extremely discouraging. Even if one is able to take care of all the planning and time management, it still takes a superhuman amount of discipline to show up day-in and day-out to not see any results. One such couple I trained, I would go to their house 4 times a week at 10-11 at night after they came home from work. They showed intense dedication but still got discouraged, because for that amount of effort they probably felt like they should have been getting more results. (I'm blaming bullshit like The Biggest Loser and every other ding-dong posting misleading transformation photos in Instagram.) Another case are sisters at our gym. One has PCOS and has to show up three times as much as her sister to still be bigger than her.

 

Right now I'm just trying to find a balance between being sympathetic to her plight and calling her out on her excuses. She was dealt bad cards; it's life on "Hard Mode" but she still has to live it. I'm autistic and depressed, and I still put myself out there every day; I feel she should be able to show up and strength train twice a week.

Yeah, your wife is playing it on a harder mode than I am for sure. And I completely understand how that can lead to excuse making. Some of it is real; I feel like shit and don't want to, or whatever. But some of it is definitely allowing myself to feed into my own negativity and resentment about the cards I've been dealt, and that shit can't fly. Unfortunately, I think it's something we all have to learn about ourselves. Schatz (my fiance) is, unless I ask him to be, very lenient. So I can't depend on him to be my willpower, unless I do legitimately need help; he was very helpful when I was trying to break my soda habit, for instance. But we both have sweet teeth, and we have to find ways to work around that, like getting him Oreos, which are a treat I don't ever really crave. That way, he can have an Oreo or two and my alarm bells aren't ringing, or I can have one with him and be satisfied at one. Like they say in NFA and pretty much everywhere, it's the baby steps that get you there.

 

Re: her Metformin issues, I don't know how her doctor tried to get her on them, but I had serious stomach issues the first few days I took it. You can read previously in this thread to see how my doctor handled it. Basically she started me on 500mg, then bumped me to 1000mg after a week, then 1500mg after a week. I felt it for a few days on 500, but the bump up to 1000 and then 1500 was inconsequential. So if her doctor immediately started her out on 1500 or 2000 or something, that's insane. I would also not be surprised if her doctor did that, as I have had friends on it that had a REALLY rough time doing it that way. Like, weeks of agony. I kind of fell off because I forgot some of my pills at work and have been running out so I've been taking a lower dose to at least keep it in my system, but I can let you know how I feel in a month or so. Oh, and they make extended release capsules, which feel a HELL of a lot better. So I don't know what options she's tried, but if she hasn't tried building up or using ER capsules, she should consider trying either/both of those options.

 

Might also be good to get bloodwork done if you have the finances to do so. Liver, adrenal/metabolic, testosterone, cholesterol, and of course thryoid stuff. All of those can point to some options as well. I imagine with Hashimoto's she probably has her thyroid checked up on fairly regularly, but doctors sometimes skip the other stuff.

 

I do appreciate everything you wrote here, though. It's really easy to start thinking it's all in your head, especially when doctors are shitty. Like before I got diagnosed, and I've probably told this story hundreds of times so apologies to people who've read this before, but before I got diagnosed with PCOS and hypo, I worked out for two hours five days a week and counted down to the micronutrients. I mean no soda, only water, only fresh food when possible, multivitamins and omega 3 pills and calcium and vitamin d and b complexes and everything to make sure I got what I was supposed to in a day, and I lost like 5lbs over the course of a summer. I mean strength training, cardio, food journals, the works. I told my doctor, and he scoffed. As if anyone would work that hard. Surely I was lying.

 

More recently, when I lived in the city, my doctor suggested I keep a food journal, so I did. I did not lose weight. So she asked me to get a food scale, so I did. I did not lose weight. She asked me to get a Fitbit, so I did. I lost a little weight. (I was already doing a lot of walking and some running, all it did was enable me to print shit out and be like, "Seriously, I'm not lying. Yes, I actually am averaging 12k steps a day.") For me it was weight training I think that did it, and eventually some phentermine when I got stuck at whatever weight, but I think the health conditions and stress and lack of sleep prevented a lot of what I wanted to happen. But it was embarassing as hell to go back to my doctor every time and be like, "So that thing you told me to do. I did it. I guess it didn't work, considering my weigh in results." Or being like, "No, here are my other measurements. Things are changing, just REALLY slowly." It's hard to test this, but I think being a woman makes it even harder. Don't advocate for yourself TOO strongly, or you're hysterical. But to know other people are seeing it, that it is hard and that sometimes we feel like giving up for good reasons, that makes me feel better.

 

I think for me, what usually helps me from getting into my downward spiral, is that I have a philosophy of, "Okay, things are hard, but that's no reason to let my life suck." Even if I have to work harder than other people to get the same or less satisfying results, that's better than doing nothing and hating how I look and how I feel and all the things I can't do. Not everyone is built that way. I feel like you're probably also built that way, given what I've seen of you on Insta and such. Frankly, I'm terrified of dying, so I'm trying to put it off as long as possible. I can't prevent something extraordinary happening like getting hit by a bus or being struck by lightning, but I can do what I can to prevent my heart giving out on me or getting complications from shitty cholesterol levels. She's gotta find her why, it sounds like.

 

-----------

 

I am excited for the new challenge to be starting today. Gonna hit the hay here in a bit, but I bought the Academy, because why not? I like structure, and it'll probably be helpful if nothing else. I'll get to refresh on the stuff I already know, reaffirm what I already believe, and learn new things. I haven't really done too much on it but I noticed they put the mindset stuff first, which I like. We'll see how it goes.

 

Happy New Year everyone, and good luck on your challenges, if you're doing them this time around!

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13 hours ago, Cataleya said:

[stuff]

 

Thank you very much for the recommendations. We'll try to get some stuff done once our finances are in order. Right now I'm just focused on trying to get her to take her Vitamin D and multi.

 

That's what sucks, really. It's too easy to write a person off as lazy, because of how many people out there who are probably actually lazy. (Many of us have probably been burned by people we gave the benefit of the doubt to.) Yeah, we can probably judge populations, but we should never be too quick to judge individuals. I don't know. My judgement is people just suck. I went to school with a big girl (also PCOS and hypo); she's taking her MS in Exercise Science, is active in Yoga, cardio, and strength training, and has already lost 100+ lbs. And people are still nasty to her for trying to be active. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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Okay, didn't make sense to make a new topic for this, so here's the highly anticipated (lol) roadmap:

 

Cataleya's 2018 Road Map

 

My Big Why

My big why is that I want to live a long, healthy life with Schatz. I want to go into my 30s with great health. If Schatz and I have kids, I want to be able to take care of them and be active in their lives, and their children's lives. But most of all, I want to be able to do things with Schatz and spend a long, happy life with him. Truth is, I'm terrified of dying. The efforts I'm putting in now are my attempt at putting that off as long as possible, and to be living my life as fully as possible in the meantime.

 

Initial Photos

I will not be posting them here. You can see them on Instagram, where they are currently posted. I'm not happy with them, but we all start/continue from somewhere. I suppose I wouldn't be going through all of this if I was happy with where I was at.

 

Removing Barriers

Some of the barriers to a healthier life I am removing are:

  • I will food prep lunch for work when possible.
  • I will only stock healthy snacks in my office, with the exception of a small bowl for candy that I have for students, which will be filled with candy I don't crave (e.g. dark chocolate).
  • I can't sleep in my workout clothes, so I will leave them on the bathroom sink in the morning.
Adding Barriers

In order to add barriers to unhealthy habits, I will be adding these barriers:

  • I will stop buying myself unhealthy snacks.
  • I will only put $50 max on my university card per month, and no more, meaning pricey sugary Starbucks drinks are out, and carb-laden sandwiches are also out. It'll be my "get tea with a coworker" fund, if nothing else.
  • I will not play any video games until I have completed my workout for the day, if there is one slated. If nothing else, I will make sure I stretch first.
Measuring Progress

Measurements can be seen here. My plan is to weigh in every week, measure every month, and take progress photos every six months. We'll see how that goes. Otherwise, I will use Nerd Fitness Academy, which I should have set up so you can follow along.

 

 

 

And finally, my goals for this year, keeping in mind that these are things to shoot for, not things I'm going to beat myself up over if I don't get them done. That said, I have every intention of achieving as many goals as humanly possible, and at the end of the day, slow progress is still progress, so even if I'm moving in the right direction, I feel pretty good about that.

 

Body Quests

  • Get down from 204lbs to 160lbs
  • Get down from .86 waist to hip ratio to .75
Reward: Get some professional outfits that actually look good on me instead of what I've been wearing for years that's looking a bit frayed. Seriously, the only nice clothes I have are from family. I don't really buy anything for myself, and it kind of shows, I think. Now that we have an actual salary, and especially once Schatz gets his job, I will finally be able to get/do something nice for myself.

 

Physical Quests

  • Do a pull up
  • Be able to comfortably hold the side splits
  • Be able to comfortably hold the front splits
  • Run three races of at least 5k length
Reward: Get nice workout gear. I have some pretty good stuff thanks to my dad, but I could benefit from some additional stuff, and you know, stuff that's cute. Because I should start dressing like I think I'm cute. See above. 2018 is the year of Cataleya taking care of herself and treating herself like she feels others should be treated.

 

Gratitude Quests

  • Volunteer for our local LGBTQA organization at least twice
  • Leave a random $25 bonus tip at least once
Reward: These are their own rewards, for reasons that should be obvious. I'm doing these because I think it'd be nice to do.

 

Rejuvenation Quests

  • Read at least 20 books
  • Complete at least three video games
  • Get a massage every month
Reward: These are their own rewards. I already have a massage package set up with a good friend of mine. I am looking forward to them.

 

Scholar Quests

  • Finish up all projects started in graduate school
  • Prep at least four classes
Reward: Get an extra massage.  Because who doesn't want a massage? Seriously, my friend is great.

 

Adventure Quests

  • Learn to scuba dive
  • Feel comfortable having basic conversations in German.
  • Get out of the US for vacation
Reward: These are their own rewards. Because how freaking awesome would it be to scuba dive or take a cruise or something? Something nice that Schatz and I can enjoy, I think. Talking to my German family is important to me as well, especially after the death of my grandmother this past summer. My Oma, who lives in Germany, is the only grandparent I have left. I often can't talk to her directly, but I do have my cousins on Facebook, and I feel awkward talking to them because I'm so nervous about my German.

 

 

 

 

So there you have it, kids. My work is cut out for me.

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8 hours ago, Cataleya said:

So there you have it, kids. My work is cut out for me.

 

I like you quests and i seems that you're going into this while properly motivated and aware. :) Good luck!

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You've given yourself a good head start in latter quarter of 2017, so you've got this. Also, never being satisfied/complacent is the start of something good.

 

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Going through the mindset stuff some more, and Steve asks us what inspires us. I don't really do inspiration, because it's fleeting and can sometimes backfire (e.g. "That person must have something I don't in order to achieve what they're doing!"). Regardless, I think there are a couple of things that do inspire me. Some are good, and some are kind of... questionable.

 

For the cool things that inspire me, it's people like the Iron Nun (Madonna Buder). She's a bigger badass than I could ever be. Not only is she a nun, meaning she goes without a lot of the cushy comforts that I have, but she's the Iron Nun. I can't really give it the weight that this video does:

 

 

She started running at 48 years old and finished her first triathlon at 52, which gives me hope that 28 isn't too late. Not only is it a dream of mine to be fit enough to do a triathlon, but she's doing it at 86, 87 years old. If I can live that long and be that healthy... I would say that's a good life. Maybe not an event finisher, but someone who is active in similar ways... I would like that. But I want to start now.

 

Then of course there is this video, which I'm sure you've all seen. It's about a disabled vet who wouldn't exercise until he started doing yoga.

 

It's a promotional video for Diamond Dallas Page, so there's a bit of that, but it's also just a good reminder that all it takes is one person believing in you, and your own strength of will. I have many people who believe in me, and I have what it takes. And I am privileged enough to not have the setbacks of injuries. I do have conditions, but they don't affect my ability to exercise at the moment, because I'm able to manage them with diet and medication. And I just love the line, "Just because I can't do it today, doesn't mean I can't do it someday." Keeps me going.

 

For the questionable part, I don't really watch reality television because I think it's generally exploitative and just trashy, but sometimes (like, twice a year maybe) I will watch something like My 600lb Life. As the title suggests, the show is about people (usually women, from what I've seen) who weigh upwards of 600lbs. The script usually goes something like, something happens and the (wo)man decides it's time to change something, they go to a doctor who says they'll give them weight loss surgery, but that even with the surgery they're going to have to put in work. That work usually involves losing a certain amount of weight before the surgery, fixing their eating habits, and oftentimes before or after the surgery they're recommended to a therapist to help them fix their relationship with food.

 

This show can be inspiring (in a way) because these (usually women) people are coming from a position where they are way worse off than me. A lot has to go wrong in your life to get to 600lbs. And while, yes, some of the responsibility for their situation rests with them, you can also see just how important people's life experiences, health journeys, and surrounding environment are. Many of these people had traumatic events happen to them and used food as a means to cope with that trauma. Their families are either non-supportive or actively sabotaging any efforts they have to fix themselves. I don't really get off on the drama that some of the episodes have, but it just helps me to empathize with others and also to look at how some of those patterns show up in my own life.

 

Before I was diagnosed with hypo and PCOS and before I started finding more competent doctors who actually knew what they were doing and gave enough of a shit to help me out, I was in a pretty dark place. I alternated between dreaming of liposuction, dreaming of getting an eating disorder, and just realizing I was going to be fat and unhappy forever. My parents were more overweight than they are now and were on a crapload of medication and didn't seem to care. Always with reasons they couldn't lose weight, always still eating shitty and barely working out if at all. And seeing my mom genuinely try only to not lose weight or to be sabotaged by my dad bringing home junk food.

 

And I see a lot of that in the women especially, this, "You know, no one else gives a shit, so why should I?" mentality and family eating like crap in front of them. It took getting a supportive network, starting with my then-boyfriend (Schatz, of course) and taking responsibility for myself, and learning more and finding resources I could come back to... but I started getting somewhere. It's been a rollercoaster; I mean I'll gain and lose and gain more and lose less and gain and lose but I'll get stronger and smarter each time.

 

I also empathize with the family though, too. I know I can be difficult and sometimes down on myself, and Schatz hates it. He doesn't know what to do, I don't think, and truth is there isn't anything he can do other than support me. I have to trust my doctors and do the work myself. Believe in the process, and all that. And he's starting to really realize I think how difficult it's been for me the past eight years or however long. We were in CVS and I realized I didn't have any snacks for my office, so I started pouring over the some of the protein bars to see if there were any that weren't loaded with sugar, and he kind of meandered over to the jerky and started doing the same thing. He showed me some turkey jerky he found that actually looked pretty good and said I said thanks, and apologized if I ever made things hard on him. He responded that sometimes it is frustrating because he'll want a candy bar or something but doesn't want to be that guy that enjoys food someone else is trying to avoid, and I told him I try not to restrict what he eats. He said he knew that, but still felt bad anyway. Especially because, as he put it (paraphrasing), "You keep doing all this stuff and none of it seems to work." And that kind of hit home, given the conversations here over the past few days, but I responded that some of it does work, it just takes me much longer to see results than other people, so I have to keep working. And he agreed. And that's just a very different response than I would have had eight years ago. 

 

Going back to the show, in watching that show I realized how my own responses to these stressors has changed. I used to fall into the, "I keep doing all this stuff and none of it seems to work so fuck me I'm done" category, but now I just am treating it like a learning experience, and I am finding out what works and doesn't work for me.

 

So yeah, not really much by the way of inspiration, but just work. Always more work.

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I'm with you on reality tv, it's lies and distortion of actual reality and more times than not hurts people it may even be trying to help because of the expectation gap it creates. You've had a lot of frustrating times on the road to the PhD and had to take pauses along the way, but you've kept trying. The payoff you're after is coming, but for now you have improvements in how you feel by dialing in your food and medication that's really obvious from listening to your words and that is its own inspiration, isn't it? 

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I'm with you on reality tv, it's lies and distortion of actual reality and more times than not hurts people it may even be trying to help because of the expectation gap it creates.

Yes. Exactly so. I try to avoid it at all costs. But I will watch the occasional cooking showdown or this show maybe once a year. The former sometimes has a bit more people drama than I'd like but still focus mostly on cooking and that's interesting to me. The latter kind of makes me feel shitty when I watch it but I also get something out of it, I guess that empathy and self-reflection, but I definitely can't watch it for more than an episode or two because it really does feel like they are exploiting these people's pain and it almost certainly sets up weird expectations for people. But I will not watch Honey Boo Boo or My Big Fat Fabulous Life (or whatever it's called) or any of that stuff. I can't stomach it.

You've had a lot of frustrating times on the road to the PhD and had to take pauses along the way, but you've kept trying. The payoff you're after is coming, but for now you have improvements in how you feel by dialing in your food and medication that's really obvious from listening to your words and that is its own inspiration, isn't it?


I wish I could say that it was, but when it comes to stuff I've done, I just kind of feel like... it needed to be done, so I did it. It's not that I don't feel proud of dropping soda again, hopefully getting my medication on track, running in the cold, etc., but it's hard for me to find that inspirational. I guess because I keep having to restart, maybe? It's hard to look back and be like look where I started. Because I'm just starting now again. Or I could be overthinking it, lol.

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We used to watch 600-pound Life. I would talk to my wife in Dr. Now's voice whenever I'd attempt to call her out on her excuses. We got some laughs, but it never worked.

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16 hours ago, Machete said:

We used to watch 600-pound Life. I would talk to my wife in Dr. Now's voice whenever I'd attempt to call her out on her excuses. We got some laughs, but it never worked.

That guy is just a lot. I mean, again haven't seen too many episodes, but when he talks it totally makes sense, and usually it boils down to "[x] really needs to fix his/her relationship with food," but there's just something about him that I find deflating or something.

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8 hours ago, Cataleya said:

That guy is just a lot. I mean, again haven't seen too many episodes, but when he talks it totally makes sense, and usually it boils down to "[x] really needs to fix his/her relationship with food," but there's just something about him that I find deflating or something.

 

Yeah, he is so matter of fact. And like, not very... nice. Which is fine. If you need that kind of motivation. But I wonder if there are better ways to say it.

 

I do like how he always talks about people finding the root cause of their issues more than just losing weight. 

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Out of curiosity, I went back into my Fitbit logs to see what my weight did back in the day. Apparently it took me 4 months to get from the low 200s to the high 180s in 2015 and then another year to get to the high 170s, and the lowest I weighed was like 176lbs. Lots of fluctuation in between, too. And then of course I bounced back, all the way up to 210s. I gained it all back and then some. I was a little mortified seeing these numbers. I'm hoping this time I can get lower faster and stay there.

I remember feeling pretty good in the 170s though. Really hopeful. This time was gonna be different, I told myself. This time it would stick. I can kind of feel that feeling coming back, but it makes me a little nervous. I've been doing this for like ten years now. I don't want to get hopeful again, only to fail again. I don't want to feel that way about myself again, even though I know PCOS and hypothyroidism are valid reasons for this to be hard. Hell, "life is hard" is enough of a reason.

I felt like I was making excuses for myself, and simultaneously I knew I was also being too hard on myself. It wasn't complacency that knocked me out of the game; it was grad school. At least I think so. I don't have that obstacle/reason/excuse now, but I do have work. So far, so good on that front.

It's not even really the weight, because weight is so arbitrary in a lot of ways. It was the way I felt about myself when I was in the 170s. Like I was human again, not an amorphous blob. I felt like a woman, like someone who could make it up the stairs and lift weights and showed promise of curves in all the right places. I'm fully aware that women have unrealistic expectations put on them. I'm also aware Schatz isn't marrying me for my looks, though he does think I'm beautiful. I also want to look and feel good, and I want him to see me look and feel good.

I don't really know where I'm going with this. I started out mostly clicking around on Fitbit because I was bored and wanted to see if I was missing any reports or anything that might be useful for me to know. I ended up thinking about how health and beauty are often so mixed up and crazy in our heads, and what I like and dislike about the "health at every size" movement. And now I'm just unsure of how to feel.

Part of me wonders what I'll be like once I get to a size and fitness level where I feel comfortable being Cat. Will I change? Will I still like myself? I've known of too many people who lost a significant amount of weight who turned into jerks. They might have been that way before, I don't know. But they almost became bullies. I'm trying to lose like a third of my starting weight. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less. It will depend more on how I feel than the number on the scale. But I would almost prefer to be Fat!Cat than Fit!Cat if being Fit!Cat meant a loss of something important.

I might be overthinking things. If I didn't though, I wouldn't be a professor.

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9 hours ago, Cataleya said:

Out of curiosity, I went back into my Fitbit logs to see what my weight did back in the day. Apparently it took me 4 months to get from the low 200s to the high 180s in 2015 and then another year to get to the high 170s, and the lowest I weighed was like 176lbs. Lots of fluctuation in between, too. And then of course I bounced back, all the way up to 210s. I gained it all back and then some. I was a little mortified seeing these numbers. I'm hoping this time I can get lower faster and stay there.

I remember feeling pretty good in the 170s though. Really hopeful. This time was gonna be different, I told myself. This time it would stick. I can kind of feel that feeling coming back, but it makes me a little nervous. I've been doing this for like ten years now. I don't want to get hopeful again, only to fail again. I don't want to feel that way about myself again, even though I know PCOS and hypothyroidism are valid reasons for this to be hard. Hell, "life is hard" is enough of a reason.

I felt like I was making excuses for myself, and simultaneously I knew I was also being too hard on myself. It wasn't complacency that knocked me out of the game; it was grad school. At least I think so. I don't have that obstacle/reason/excuse now, but I do have work. So far, so good on that front.

 

Major life events have a way of derailing the the best laid plans. Grad school definitely qualifies, a place where stress is maximized and personal care is shoved into the backseat for the purpose of obtaining a degree--that is no lifestyle, grad school. You've picked yourself up, now you're trying again. Don't frontload your expectations by making any major proclamations, just promise yourself that you will take what you learned when you got down to 176lbs and leave the guilt/negative emotions at your front door. It isn't going to help you and in fact will only set you up on a negative trajectory. Life IS hard, but. You know you CAN do it in spite of all that shit.

 

9 hours ago, Cataleya said:

I don't really know where I'm going with this. I started out mostly clicking around on Fitbit because I was bored and wanted to see if I was missing any reports or anything that might be useful for me to know. I ended up thinking about how health and beauty are often so mixed up and crazy in our heads, and what I like and dislike about the "health at every size" movement. And now I'm just unsure of how to feel.

Part of me wonders what I'll be like once I get to a size and fitness level where I feel comfortable being Cat. Will I change? Will I still like myself? I've known of too many people who lost a significant amount of weight who turned into jerks. They might have been that way before, I don't know. But they almost became bullies. I'm trying to lose like a third of my starting weight. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less. It will depend more on how I feel than the number on the scale. But I would almost prefer to be Fat!Cat than Fit!Cat if being Fit!Cat meant a loss of something important.

 

The people who turn into jerks have lost sight of something and that something may have been a real sense of who they were as a person before they found fitness, the struggles that entails. As such, it's easy to lose sympathy with people who live like the old them, you know? They see other people's situations and get impatient/frustrated because they can't see "the obvious." Or worse, they remember how it was, feel shame about it, and project that onto the humans around them. * shrug *

 

Will you "feel" different? Yeah, diet, energy, what you do in your spare time will have to change at least a bit. But as you said it takes months to move the scale substantially and consequently the change will be slow as well. You may not even realize just how much your quality of life has improved until you are in the right situation. You won't just BE somebody else, you have to put in the work to get there so you'll know what you're working toward the whole time because you'll be actively chasing down that goal. If you don't like where that goal is taking you, you can always stop and reassess.  

 

Will you change? I dunno, maybe? But more than likely you will see mostly positive change, being more capable (not just doing fancy tricks, but KNOWING to the core of your soul that you can do the thing), more energetic, more content with who you are as a person, etc. All our journeys take us different routes, but essentially you're journaling out how you feel as you go. All you have to do is go back and read it. It's good to keep perspective as you go, it can build empathy for others who are trying to follow you and a desire to help because you been right there where they are now. It's a matter of character. Some people are meant to be teachers or leaders, some aren't. Shame if some can't tell what role they fit best and stick to their lane.

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39 minutes ago, Cataleya said:

Observation: I tend to do really well in challenges weeks 1 and 2, sometimes 3, but by 3 or 4 things start falling apart. Now sure why that is.

Possibly trying to set to many goals instead of focusing on just 1 or 2?  Will power is like a muscle.  It can break down due to overuse.  Consider attempting to create just one habit during a challenge and make that your entire definition of success.  

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45 minutes ago, Cataleya said:

Observation: I tend to do really well in challenges weeks 1 and 2, sometimes 3, but by 3 or 4 things start falling apart. Now sure why that is.

 

Based on your challenge, I would think that not being completely "in charge" of your decisions contributed to this past week too. It happens. 

 

I think the more important thing is to not wait until the next challenge starts to get back on track. Yeah, this week was rough - but tomorrow is a new day.

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