more than just another bike blog

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Inner Beauty is for Fat People



I'll admit I have a not-totally-healthy obsession with my weight. For 31 years I was rail thin -- 5'10" and about 110 pounds. I liked being skinny. Man, if only I'd been a bike racer then!!! I'd be one of those skinny little climber girls that everyone hates.

And then I had my first major surgery in 1996, gained a few pounds and it never completely went away (but I still wasn't fat at 125 pounds). Weight went up & down but I was a very happy, healthy, muscluar, fast 130-pound cyclist in 1999. Beginning in 2002, I started gaining weight even though I rode my bike about 15-20 hours a week, ran, lifted and ate right. I was puzzled, but I also had a few periods of time off the bike (DVT, mother died, a couple of crashes), so I assumed it was weight from inactivity.

Well, the weight continued to pile on for three years, until I'd gained 50+ pounds. WTF! Little did I know that the little butterfly in my neck wasn't working, so no matter how much I trained and how little I ate, my metabolism had basically shut down. Can you imagine what it does to your self-esteem to work in the fitness (aka beautiful body) industry and feel fat and out of shape? Do you realize how much others judge you based on the way you look? Or how slowly you climb hills? Shambles, I tell you!

Happily, in late 2004 I finally found out what was wrong with me. Two surgeries later, in May 2005, I tipped the scales at almost 190 pounds. It sickens me just to type that. But, I got my literally-fat-ass back on the bike and once we got my thyroid meds levelled out, the scale began it's first descent in more than two years. It's been up & down in the past 14 months, but mostly down for a total loss of about 30 pounds. Let me tell you, it's been a hell of a lot of work. Since last May, I've logged about 600 hours on the bike and eaten more green things that I care to think about.

In February the weight-loss stopped. Not sure why but it's frustrating the hell out of me. I've detoxxed twice, considered all types of crazy weight-loss supplements, and even contemplated liposuction. The only positive thing that's kept me going is the fact that my watts are going up and up even if the scale isn't going down and down.

But now, for the third time since the Death Ride, I've had this crazy weight-gain. Today, since stepping on the scale this morning, I'm up 9 pounds! Criminy!!! I've been weighing myself daily for about six years and never in all those years have I seen anything as crazy as this. Why am I retaining water? Am I diabetic? Are my kidneys failing? Are my electrolytes totally out of balance? Why did I stop losing weight? What to do?

ps -- for anyone who's reading this thinking "she's a coach and she has such an unhealthy attitude about weight" my response is "the plumber has leaky pipes!" After all I've been though in the past decade, I have every right to be psycho about my weight. There's nothing worse than feeling lost in someone else's body and that's what I've felt like -- a skinny girl trapped in a fat chick's body. Could someone please let me out? I'm missing the best years of my life here!!!

12 Comments:

At 8/04/2006 6:16 AM, Blogger Nancy Farzan said...

ah, Velo girl...You have every right to freak. When your body does what it wants to and you don't seem to have any control.THAT'S FRUSTRATING! It sounds like you've had a hell of a time and you are doing everything in your power to reverse it.
Skinny is not everything. Your strength, health and empowerment is.
I have NEVER KNOWN SKINNY (muscle and/or fat like me)but that hasn't stopped me from doing what I enjoy...
Plus you are probably a BETTER coach/trainer as you know how it feels to be not "in charge" of your body and can really help others who may not be so body aware...Those who judge others on their shape, fastness etc...obviously have never dealt with "real life" and when they do they will see the light.
In the meantime, keep going :)

 
At 8/04/2006 6:18 AM, Blogger Nancy Farzan said...

ah- as to the 9 lbs, have you changed your diet at all?

 
At 8/04/2006 8:03 AM, Blogger Erein said...

A nine pound unexplained weight gain when you've had a history of unexplained weight gain due to metabolism issues? I don't think it's your diet, I think you need to go talk to your doctor/dietian.

Could it be possible that the death ride set your metabolism out of whack again?

You are doing everything right. You have every reason to be concerned about your weight. You are not obsessive. And you're not being unreasonable. Go take care of yourself.

And from someone who has been fat all of her life, and finally lost weight; I understand. If that fat girl ever came back into my life, I'd kill her.

 
At 8/04/2006 8:18 AM, Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i think you're hot.

 
At 8/04/2006 8:52 AM, Blogger X Bunny said...

i am assuming you've been to your doctor and had your levels checked--even though once a year is usually enough, changes like this should get rechecked

when you gain all the weight/water suddenly, does it stay or does it eventually drop off?

one thing that has helped me a lot is NOT to weigh myself everyday

once a week at the most--it tends to average out the water fluctuations somewhat

get your scale out of your bathroom--put it somewhere you don't see it regularly and have to make a special trip to use

and don't give up on yourself
cuz you rock

 
At 8/04/2006 8:53 AM, Blogger X Bunny said...

i am assuming you've been to your doctor and had your levels checked--even though once a year is usually enough, changes like this should get rechecked

when you gain all the weight/water suddenly, does it stay or does it eventually drop off?

one thing that has helped me a lot is NOT to weigh myself everyday

once a week at the most--it tends to average out the water fluctuations somewhat

get your scale out of your bathroom--put it somewhere you don't see it regularly and have to make a special trip to use

and don't give up on yourself
cuz you rock

 
At 8/04/2006 9:17 AM, Blogger velogirl said...

Nancy, you hit the nail on the head. It's all about control. I felt out of control for so many years and was just finally feeling in control again. Now I feel out of control again and I HATE IT!

Haven't changed my nutrition at all. Okay, I had ice cream three times last weekend but it was my birthday!!!

I lowered my thyroid meds just a bit four weeks ago because I was too hyper. It's actually beeen challenging to get the right levels. We're still at the point where I get labs and see my endo every four months.

The weight comes quickly (within hours) and comes off slowly (1-2 days later). I assume it's water because it drops off again.

XB, if I put the scale away, how am I going to weigh myself ten times a day? Actually, I do weigh myself pre-ride and post-ride to gauge hydration. And in the morning to gauge weight. And at night just out of curiosity. And when I'm bored just because. And when I'm hungry to inspire myself not to eat bad stuff.

 
At 8/04/2006 9:29 AM, Blogger Velo Bella said...

weight schmeight

I am the classic yo-yo. As an adult I have had up to 80 pound swings. With genes just itching to pack on the adipose.

Thank goodness I swing both ways.

But damn, ever since that DVT I am having the hardest time getting to where I want to be for racing. I know there's nothing about the DVT thats causing it at this point. Except the perspective the DVT gave me, and me wanting to enjoy life...sometimes a little too much.

 
At 8/04/2006 9:34 AM, Blogger velogirl said...

She said "swing both ways!"

 
At 8/04/2006 9:50 AM, Blogger Flandria said...

don't be too hard on yourself VG, you are a wonderful person! As far as I am reading, you are trying your best in everything - that counts!

Your scale might be technically challenged...need battery maybe?

 
At 8/04/2006 11:41 AM, Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Man, that cycle sucks. I do the same thing, and it is always (ALWAYS) somewhere in my head, and has been for as long as I remember. For the life of me I haven't figured out how to get past it, so I have no words of wisdom, just common ground & empathy.

 
At 8/04/2006 2:20 PM, Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Oh, and happy birthday! I might have some ice cream in your honor tonight :).

 

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