Saturday, January 22, 2011

Learning How to Play Thinner

Since I've started the morphine and the other medications in the first years of the new millennium (sounds rather posh, huh?)I watched my size 5 body grow and ebb like a fury of tidal waves of fat. I would be on a pain med, and my metabolism would look me in the eye as it waved "BUH-Bye!" When I grew too accustomed to one, the weight would suddenly wander away without a slight effort. Medications and I were on a confrontational path to annoyance. I need them to stay out of wheelchairs, they need me to flaunt superiority in weight control.

I started getting a bit of an issue with food. A "bit" is an understatement. It was a nightmare. If I ate too much I'd gain, obviously, and if I ate too little I'd gain, annoyingly. But when I eat like a normal person should, I still gained. The standard rule is to be a specific weight you need to eat 10 times whatever the weight is in order to maintain the proper calorie count. For instance, if you want to keep at 120 pounds you need to maintain a 1200 calorie average in your diet. Some days you can get away with 1700, some days 700, so it averages out, right? Well I did that for 20 or so years. I ate one meal a day. Once. That's it. I would have a small something for breakfast at 3pm, then a dinner or a lunch somewhere around 7. That was it. Never drank coffee, sometimes had a beer or two, or a glass of wine with friends.

When I got told my a less than human medical professional that I was "eating too much" my fear of gaining weight kicked in. I didn't have it before, I figured I was gaining weight from medicine, whether anyone else believed me or not. It was a fact. But the one doctor who was supposed to solve that issue said, I was "eating too much". That fear made it so I would get irked at myself when I did eat more than 800 or so calories. When I was pissed I would figure, I better eat more to prove him right. Or when I was frustrated, I stayed away from eating for days. That's an eating disorder. It took me two years to stop listening to his voice in the back of my head.

The new voice came from the doctor mentioned in the last blog. It wasn't his telling me that 900-1300 calories a day was too much. It wasn't even the idea that he planned on cutting me open without asking anything about my disorders, (but that was part of it). It was getting a nice gift from my husband of a Wii and a Wii fit that led me to losing 6 pounds since Giftmas.

It doesn't matter that I'm unable to do many of the exercises hidden as games. It doesn't matter that there are days when I can only use a left arm or a right arm. It doesn't matter that I'm not dressed up to the current standards in gym attire. I can sit in my pajamas, wave around, wiggle a bit, sometimes it only takes a waddle, and shazam, an hour speeds by. When that hour is up, I get a status report that states I'm 500 or so calories spent. That's half my days caloric intake gone. I am officially burning half of my day in an hour. Did you know that it takes four calories to swing a hula-hoop, and ten to walk a tight rope? Me either. Now we do.

It also tells me how many days I've worked with the toy. It is a toy, face it. It's a video game that interacts with my body, but it's like any other physical game of catch, baseball, golf, and Frisbee(TM) in some senses. I do things and things happen that make me feel healthier. That's kind of great for a game. I'm not trying to sell you one, though. I'm trying to say that if you can find something that is fun to do that makes you feel great, and helps you sweat off some of that lunch box, then do it.

Before I was using this toy, I had used some dance DVDs. These were by Jenifer Galardi, and I discovered her on FitTV. Years back, I used to love dancing, gymnastics, and just bouncing about having fun. I had a great dance teacher in college, Dawn Kramer, and just loved her class. She laughed at me because one day I admitted, I hated sweating. For years, I hated it. It was the idea of not being able to shower right afterward that bugged me. Sweat, get cold, sometimes ice in my hair, then go home. New England dance classes are a great memory. I was also 110 pounds, muscular, lean, and could lift a small car to change a tire. Okay, maybe not that strong, but I could do much more than many people.

I used to run on a stair climber, I used to use free weights, and I used to walk everywhere. When my body gave up on me, I didn't really have any idea what to do. I couldn't do much more than isometrics. Horseback was out. I played with my doggy as long as I could, but my ex became her full time doggy-parent as my hands started to dislocate more every time we played. She is in great hands, now. My cats became my toys. It wasn't enough. I couldn't move. I didn't sleep, and I didn't have anything but pain when I tried to change any of it. Then my husband got me the video game.

It doesn't take much to find ONE thing that makes you happy. Maybe you can sit on a hoppity-hop. Maybe it takes spinning on a lazy-susan. If you like tossing a tennis ball on your wall to irk your neighbors, so what? It's doing something. Maybe you should ask your neighbor to play catch with you instead, but mostly you're just trying to move somehow. Clapping, rolling your hands, wiggling- it's all movement. Movement helps you gain muscle strength, burn calories and lets you have fun. As a kid, I used to love beating up the large collection of dough I had acquired over the years. Pink, blue, green, orange- smells that still remain embedded in my memory- all are part of the best times of being a kid. So be a little childish and play a bit. You may lose some weight, or you may gain some smiling. Either way, you'll feel better.

So this blog questions- what is it that you do to play? What is your fun? Do you have recess for yourself?

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