Monday, August 8, 2011

Further Thoughts

The weather in Dallas, Texas has been extreme over the past month to say the least.  We are currently on our 38th straight day of 100+ degrees.  For those with a curiousity about this sort of thing, the record currently stands at 42 days.  I'm betting that we blow the record out of the water.

"But Lys...?"  I hear you say, "What does that have to do with being a Fat Superhero?"

Well, let me tell you, normally it wouldn't but the past four weekends have seen me out in this heat from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the earliest and until 6 p.m. at the latest working on location for a short film that a number of my friends are making.  (Gratuitous plug:  check out our website at and our Facebook page at!/pages/The-Lightbringer-Saga/208325359188759 ) 

"Lys?  I'm still confused."

I know, trust me, there is a connection between all of these threads. 

As we have been outside, running around in the woods, hiking up and down concrete staircases, and climbing hills to get the perfect shot, I realized that while I am making great progress in loving myself for who I am, I am not happy with the state of my health right now.  And THAT is really what "Health at Every Size" is about.  Are you happy with your health, no matter what size you are?

I know that a lot of people's first impressions of HaES seems to assume that the people who follow that line of thought are just fatties trying to justify being fat so that they can continue to sit on the couch, eat Cheetos, and not have to move.  That's not right, though.  Health at Every Size is about health (thus it being the first word in the title!).  Everyone in the world has the right to the best health possible for them.  It doesn't matter what they LOOK like, what matters is how they FEEL.  And that is the main difference for me when it comes to HaES versus some aspects of the Fat Acceptance movement. 

I don't care if I'm fat, I don't care if I'm slender, what I care about is how do I feel?  Can run around the woods, hike up and down concrete staircases, and climb hills and do so without those activities sucking the joy of whatever it is that I'm running / hiking / climbing for.  Unfortunately, for me, the last month has proven that I cannot do those things without feeling horrible.  I don't like the pains in my joints, the huffing and puffing, and always being the last person to get anywhere because my body can't handle the strain. 

"So, Lys, how do you take care of that without falling into the dieting traps laid out by Big Business and The Weight Loss Industry?"

That, my friends, is a good question! 

The key is movement.  If you want to be able to move well, you have to start moving.  Ironic, isn't it?  My eating habits are actually pretty healthy.  I know that there will be people who think I'm lying when I say that, who think that there is no way that I could be so fat if I ate as well as I claim to eat, but that's their problem, not mine.  It comforts them to think that I have to be eating well in public and then scarfing down five gallons of ice cream in the dark living room after my husband has gone to bed.  It comforts them because they don't do that, so that means they'll never get fat.  It isn't about ME, it is about them and their fears, so I don't listen to them.

But as I was saying, my eating habits are pretty healthy, really.  We do a lot of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, and lean proteins.  We've even cut back portion sizes on meats, though my husband tends to gripe about that a bit.  I'm not saying that there isn't room in our menu for ice cream or chocolate, but they take the form of small bites rather than huge bowls now.

That leaves movement.  That is my avenue for getting my joints to stop hating me, for getting my lung capacity back up to a decent level, and for being able to enjoy my time with my friends rather than making apologies for being so slow.

I'm honestly still a little stymied about this, really.  It is hard to find movement that I enjoy and will do on a consistent basis.  I do enjoy yoga, so I will be starting to use my yoga DVD again, but I'm not sure what else to do.  So, now I begin a new quest:  to find something I like to do and will do on a regular basis.  I expect that there will be some working with our practice swords, and some form of dancing.  If nothing else, it will be fun to explore the options!

So, my dear VURD!  Talk to me!  What kind of movement do you enjoy the most and why?  It doesn't have to be something officially classed as "exercise", like the treadmill or elliptical (though if it is, that's fine too!).  Share with me, and everyone else.  What gets your heart pumping and puts a smile on your face?  I really do want to know!


  1. Lys, you were not the only one moving slow, the heat did not help any of us this weekend. As for me, I am thankful that all the dance has helped me keep my joints supple enough to do SOME of those hills, though I know the stairs are not my friends. We have the historical country dance classes, I can't go long without my salsa classes! And as my instructor says there, it doesn't matter if you are three pounds or three hundred, it's in your attitude and head.

  2. Do you like:
    -biking (mtn or road)
    -taking dogs for a long walk
    -gardening & yardwork
    -or any combination of the above?
    Those are some of the things I do for active fun. Your mileage may vary (no pun intended!)

  3. For me, I walk, and dancing could always be fun. I don't do these consistently much anymore, but that's what I do when I do it. If I were trying to get back into shape, and had an elliptical or treadmill, I'd be doing that. Because you can do those in a climate-controlled environment, and you can watch TV or maybe even read while you're doing those to keep your brain occupied. Dancing lets you listen to the music, so that's good.

    To segue off your last blog, it seems to be that the "culprit", if we must have one, is our current sedentary life-style, enhanced by cars. Certainly I'm not advocating a return to car-less-ness -- life has changed entirely too much. But -- a century ago, most ordinary folks walked or rode everywhere. Their daily work was much more physical. That's what we're missing, and exercise, phony though it may be to our instincts, is the replacement.

    I read, quite some time ago, that folks who had selected walking as their exercise had lost more weight than those who took up some more strenuous exercise. I see 2 possibilities -- 1. walking is more natural. 2. walking has so much lower a potential for injury, and also doesn't make you feel quite so done-in, and thus is more repeatable. (You can ignore the "lost weight" remark. Sustainable exercise is more the point.)

    And, in yet another tangent, I find it interesting that you're the 2nd person I know who went on a diet in your prepubescent years, and has a totally bolluxed metabolism as a result. I.e., you both can gain weight on Weight Watchers.

    Joints -- are you trying any joint supplements? Don't where you stand on arthritis etc...

  4. Dancing is probably one of my favorite activities ever. It's fun, you get to listen to music, and it can be enjoyed alone or in a group. My favorite part of dancing was taking classes, with the end goal of learning a choreographed dance for the end-of-year recital. It really kept me motivated; if I didn't land that double pirouette by next week, I'd be put in the back, for example.

    But since dancing can be hard on joints (even I have some funny business with my ankles from it), yoga and walking are awesome. I'm a huge fan of walking on nature trails, but it's kinda hard right now. I use yoga as more of a meditative thing though, almost as an assessment of my health. It gives me a chance to focus more on my breathing and strength than on the movements. If something doesn't seem up to scratch, I work on that.

    This is just my two cents. It might not be much, but I hope it helps!

    (And if you're willing to splurge, sign Shado and yourself up for ballroom lessons. I took a 6 week intro course one summer, and it's really fun!)

  5. Wii boxing's a killer stress reliever, and I'm always keen on a good, thrashing swim.

  6. Dance Dance Revolution! Which is less dance and more a sort of video-game for your whole body, but I like it. I like to dance too, and I don't mind walking when it's what I choose to do, not what I have to do.


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