Saturday, February 16, 2013

Don’t Get Rid of All Your Fat Pants

I’m going to give you some advice that goes against all other advice you’ve probably heard before. Advice that health-minded people will totally poo-poo (because I totally would have been one of those poo-pooing people before). If you’ve lost weight enough to change pant sizes, don’t get rid of all your fat pants! Save one. Save one pair. One comfy pair. Or, two.

A newer acquisition of desperate proportions. And, I found them for under 25 bucks!

Now, this advice is really only a backup plan. A contingency plan of sorts. If you’re healthy, it isn’t a reason for you to wimp out and gain that weight back because it’s the holidays or Valentine’s Day or Easter, or summer barbeque season or whatever food-eating holiday excuse comes up. If you’ve worked hard and conquered your weight-loss goals and got yourself fit…never give up on that.

That’s where I felt I was just last spring. Healthy and fit. Quite a few years ago now, I had lost extra weight that had slowly crept on. I had finally felt like I was getting in the best shape I had been in since my early 20s. I had kept that weight off because I made a lifestyle change. I was eating healthy and I was exercising regularly. I was getting that six pack on my abs and feeling so great about myself and then…I had my head injury.

I love this meme. Not sure I'm ready for stretchy pants, though.

Every day for the last 9 months, I’ve had to deal with the effects of this concussion. Even small amounts of physical activity cause my head to pound, cause an increase in intensity of my now-constant headaches, and cause nausea or dizziness. I’m having a hard time not looking back at what I used to be able to do. I’m not supposed to compare my hiking ten hours in the White Mountains of New Hampshire or going out for a fun 15 or 20 mile bike ride to what I can do now. On a good day, on a really good day, I can walk about a mile. On flat ground. With lots of breaks. Forget about activity that requires balance or positional changes like biking or yoga.

So, without physical activity, what happens to your body? Um, as we all know from shows like The Biggest Loser, we gain weight. I’m lucky that I haven’t turned to emotional eating on top of all this. I still try to eat as healthy as I can. Part of that is from the lifestyle change I made. I still do yogurt and flax meal most mornings for breakfast. I watch my carbs. I watch my fats. But, without that cardio exercise I had before my injury, I’m finding it difficult to keep the weight off.

Darned comfy GAP jeans. Unfortunately, they are covered in paint.
Most of my jeans have worn out in the right knee. I'm okay with that.

I’m looking at a new twenty extra pounds. Most people look at me and say I look great (I look fine, remember?) But, for me, I don’t feel as great. My abs are losing their definition. My thighs are bigger. My butt is bigger. My boobs are bigger. Okay, so the bigger boobs are fine. My pants are snuggly. Some are way snuggly.

I had made a promise to myself to never gain that weight back that I lost. I promised myself to always be as active as I could. I thought I was invincible in that thinking. I thought I’d maintain that level of fitness that I had achieved and then some. And, if I lost that level, it would be slowly as I got (much) older. Little did I know that something would happen where I had no control and that it would change in an instant.

I’ve made a new plan with my doctor to try to help. It involves setting very small goals of physicality and putting smiley stickers on my calendar when I meet those goals. I’ll have a happy visual that works well in my fluffy bunnies and happy rainbows sort of world.

These are clipped to my calendar. As I meet an exercise goal,
one of these happy little faces gets a new home!

So, here I find myself digging through my closet trying to find pants that give me just a little more room. Especially on those bloaty days when women just need that extra room. But, I don’t have any. Well, except for one pair of “painting pants” that I don’t want to wear out of the ‘hood. So, don’t be like me and give away all your fat pants. And, Jillian Michaels, please don’t kill me for saying that. I just might need to borrow them.


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