No One Ever Says You’re Getting Fat: Part One
Okay, my mother would say you’re getting fat, but most polite society won’t. And with good fucking reason. It’s none of their goddamn business. Maybe you have a thyroid condition or a metabolic disorder. Or perhaps, you are tired of dealing with all of the calorie counting bullshit and said fuck it.
The problem for me is if no one says you’re getting fat, I don’t notice. Until I see a picture of myself. You fucking know it.
I’ve been on a diet most of my life. If there was a new fad diet, my mother was following it. If my mother had a family motto, it was, “You’re a Garduno woman, and Garduno women aren’t thin. You’re going to have to fight your weight your entire life.” That or “Never go anywhere without lipstick and eyebrows.”
I have to give it up to my mom, she was dead on about the eyebrows.
If my mother followed a diet, I was also on a diet.
To be entirely fair, she was correct. I’m not a slender, waify woman. I’m 5’5″ with the shoulders of a linebacker. I’m bodacious and buxom. I’m curvy. If I work with weights over a certain amount, I’m turning into Helga the Shotputter. I can barely find any long-sleeve shirts to fit as it is. The Beard likes to say I’m a sturdy woman.
My mother never had a secure body image even though she played tennis and waterskied. She never exercised for the sole purpose of working out. It wasn’t a thing. It wasn’t until I grew old enough to understand one of the family friends was a runner that I discovered running. We’re talking late 70s. Once I found the zen mindful mindlessness of running (I’m more of a plodder to be fair), I embraced it.
Fast forward to my mid-30s, I work out regularly. I teach yoga. I’m running 20 miles a week. After a few rounds of corticosteroids for chronic bronchitis, being a school teacher exposes you to all sorts of wonderful bugs, I put on 20 pounds that would not budge.
Weight watchers, something I’d used in the past successfully, failed me. Working out like a maniac failed me. Reducing calories, increasing calories, meal replacements, they all failed me. It was about the time the HCG craze started swelling. After talking with my doc, I decided to go for it.
Please be advised, this is NOT an endorsement of the HCG very low-calorie diet.
Quick rundown: It’s a 500-700 calorie per day diet. It’s crazy limited and a lot ridiculous. It also excludes a lot of personal hygiene products as well. First, I didn’t follow the plan faithfully because it calls for a complete stop to any workouts. Wasn’t going to happen. Second, I also ate extra protein servings because I was still working out. Third, stop using my moisturizer and lotion? Yeah, fuck that. Have you lived in Colorado?
Here’s what the diet DID do: it eliminated ALL processed sugar and added sugar from my intake. Another thing it revealed to me is a wheat allergy. My daughter has a wheat and dairy allergy we identified when she was a toddler. Did it ever occur to me I passed that intolerance? We are Apache/Mexican descendants. It should have been obvious I know, sometimes I’m fucking dull.
Yes, over three years (rather than the 30 or 40 days prescribed) I lost 25 pounds. I ended up moving to a Paleo-Primal diet with some modifications. I drink. A lot. Fuck you. I am not giving up my fucking cheese. I’m Mexican American you couldn’t pry my pinto beans away from my cold dead hands. I drink coffee. A lot of coffee. Again, fuck you.
I maintained my ideal 160 pounds and could sometimes slip into a size 8 for over five years. And then I shattered my ankle. Good times. That’s when it all when to crap.