Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Can of Worms

I'm not sure where to start on this post.  I've started writing posts like this many times, but they all ended up my drafts, never to be published.  I have a lot to say, but unfortunately, before I can get to what I want to say, I feel like some background information is necessary.  

Since Fall of 2010,  I have been very stable in my weight range, which is a huge accomplishment for me.  I have been between 148 and 158, if I include all the outliers, but really between 151 and 156, 95% of the time.
The past year, to give you an idea.  The orange line was my weight in April 2010, the blue straight line was my chosen goal weight of 155 that I set in April 2010.   
Boringly flat, right?  Well, it's interesting because prior to Fall 2010, this was my weight history:

Here are some photos of my yo-yo-ing around:

Some kind of senior HS event, May 2002.  Size 16-18.  Weight 190+

Freshman year of college.  (I'm in the middle). Still size 18ish, 200 ish lbs.  It's hard to find any body shots of me during this time.  I guess I did a good job hiding from the camera. 
At the beach, Summer 2003.  (I'm in the white top, blue jean shorts)  Those are size 12 shorts.  150 lbs after losing ~50 lbs so I could join the Air Force ROTC. I still have those shorts.  I just put them on and they fit fine.  (Loose, just like in the picture.  I didn't have to unbutton them to pull them up just now.  I was 153.4 lbs when I weighed myself yesterday).  
2004, gaining it back.  Don't mind the hash bash shirt.  It was a novelty item.  I was never a stoner.    That's a tight size 14 I'd guess.  Probably 175ish lbs.  
I hung out between around 160 and 175, size 14, for a while.  This was early 2005.   And apparently I got braids.   Seriously, I wasn't a pothead.  These pictures aren't helping my case. 
Then, early 2006, I made it down to an adult low of 135.   And somehow I have basically no pictures of this.  How did that happen??  This was the right time, but you can't tell anything.  Except that I have an actual nose RING.   Not a   stoner.  Promise.  
This is another photo of the 135 time, where you can't see a damn thing.  I know for a fact that those pants are size 8 and the shirts are size small.  They were old navy cargo pants though, I think that the size 8 wasn't the norm.  10 was more likely.  And the shirts were pretty stretchy and snug.  Still, those are the smallest sized pants I've ever bought post-junior-high.   
I started gaining again and was in a vicious binge eating and running cycle.  All the running trying to stop the weight gain from all the eating led me to my half PR in April 2006.  
This was just a month later but quite a bit bigger at my first full marathon in May 2006.  I made it back up to 175, size 14 again.   (Not sure if I'm quite that yet in this photo, but I'm definitely well on my way!)

Eventually got my shit together and started eating like  a normal human, and got back down to 150-155 yet again.  The nice thing about this time (2007) is that I did it without counting calories or weighing myself at all.  

I made my way up to 185 by early 2010.  It's hard to find photos from that time.  This is Feb 2010, but it's a pretty forgiving photo, thanks to the black top, and the fact that I'm "posing" with my fists pushing in all my fat :) 
And this is me at 150-155 again, which is where I've been for over 2 years.  It's the most recent photo I have, from last month.  Comfortable/loose size 12.  This photo is forgiving too, I look much bigger in real life.  It's the compression shorts hiked up to my natural waist that fool you.
In summary: chubby 7th grader, stopped eating, became a sub 100 lb 8th grader.  Eat like crazy to make up for it, gain weight pretty much continuously through freshman year of college (100 lbs over 5 years).  Lose 50 lbs.  Gain 25 lbs.  Lose 40 lbs.  Gain 40 lbs.  Lose 25 lbs.  Gain 30 lbs.  Lose 30 lbs.  STAY THE SAME FOR OVER 2 YEARS.

There, now you're caught up.  None of this is really my point anyway.  This was meant to be background information in my current dilemma of whether to try to lose weight or not.  I joined Weight Watchers 2 weeks ago after being scared shitless by a 158.6 on the scale, then eating 4 pieces of chocolate cake in one sitting in my sorrow.  (The next day was 159 point something!).  Anyway, I did WW for a week and by the end of it was back to 153.4.  (In my range of "normal").  I was planning on sticking with it for the 3 months I paid for, and seeing how much I could comfortably lose.  There are a lot of problems that could be solved by me being smaller.  First and foremost, I would likely get faster.  Probably by a good chunk.  That was the main motivation (after I got out of panic weight zone anyway).  I could save a lot of money by cooking healthy meals at home instead of eating out so much too.  And I could be "healthier" in terms of eating less processed crap food and more fruits and vegetables.  So I thought, why not, I'll stick with it and give myself my best shot at sub 2 in the half this spring.

BUT, I'm afraid to lose weight.  I'm afraid to lose weight because I don't want to have to work to maintain it.  I don't want the deprivation to trigger binge eating and ultimately lead to weight gain and yo-yo-ing again.  I don't want to have to measure and weigh all my food, and be afraid to go to a party, or afraid to order what I really want at a restaurant.  I'm fine with the way I look at this size.  I just wish other people were.  I don't like that I don't "look like" a runner to others.  The way people say "Really? You?" as they look me over from head to toe when they find out that I just ran a marathon.

So, that was your background information on where I'm coming from.  I have more to say on my current views on the topics of weight, society, body image, food, "the obesity epidemic", health, fitness, etc, (and how much my views have changed over the past 15 years) but that is enough for now.  Stay tuned.


  1. Hi Ty! I just want to say that I LOVE all these pics of you :) I would have totally guessed you were a pothead-turned-marathoner if not for your commentary! I think you look like a runner, but I totally know what you mean and I've done the yo-yo thing and will be back to it to get rid of this baby weight soon enough. Good luck :O

  2. Wow Ty! I've never seen the before pics. Awesome job!

  3. Great post Ty. As an athlete who is a few pounds north of the average runner/triathlete I know how it feels to constantly think that people are looking at you and saying "you? really?" I am not sure about you, but I know it really bothers me that I have accomplished so much sports wise, yet I can't seem to discipline myself to lose the weight that would make me a much better, faster athlete. I can train for and complete an Ironman, but I can seem to lose 15 pounds. Sheesh!

    Good luck.

  4. I know I already told you this today, but I think if you can maintain your weight without counting, I'd continue to do that! Counting calories/PointsPlus is exhausting, and I really wish that I could maintain without counting. Instead, you could make a couple of small tweaks to get your weight down--for example, switching from 2% milk to skim, or cutting out soda, or making other substitutions. Just by substituting some foods, you could get your weight down without counting a single calorie!

    1. Yeah I think that's a good plan, at least to try at first. If it doesn't work over the next week or two I'll give WW another go. Weight watchers did teach me to eat fruit & veggies, so I think just sticking with that for my snacks and as a side with each meal would make a world of difference. And cutting back on the eating out. That's my biggest problem. I eat out ALL the time!


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