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Old Habits Die hard   Leave a comment

We get so used to the way things are sometimes that we don’t realize that it’s actually the way they were.  Over the past 10 months of being on the ketogenic diet my body has changed quite a bit.  I have my next monthly update coming up tomorrow and it’s looking like I may be over 80 pounds lighter than when I started and around 110 pounds lighter then my heaviest weight.

I was the higher weights for a really long time.  Like decades long.  And over time I’ve lived with certain physical boundaries or realities that I’ve had to deal with.  Having lived with them for so long I sometimes forget that they don’t apply to me anymore other than as a continuing habit I’ve fallen into.  So I thought for today’s post I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned aren’t true but really have to remind myself of because they are so ingrained in my mind.

The first up is having to pick anything up off of the floor.  One of the realities of being overweight is having a lot of body fat up front in the belly area.  As such, when you bend forward to try to pick something up off the floor your stomach compresses to make this happen.  Well it can only compress so far.  So the flatter or closer to the floor the item was, like a coin  or something made of paper, the harder it was to pick it up.  Also, when you’re compressing your gut in, you’re also pushing back against the lungs.  So by the time you stood back upright you’d be breathing heavy picking something small up off the floor.  For both those reasons I used to dread having to do that.  Especially if I didn’t have something to brace myself against to help push myself back up.  Of course now that I’m substantially smaller it’s easy to do it.  But if I do drop something on the floor, especially something paper, I still automatically get that sense of dread.  It takes me a few seconds to realize that I can do it no problem now, even if I don’t have anything to brace against.  It makes me wonder how long it will take before my mind catches up to the fact that it’s easy now.

Next is booth or table?  You get asked that question every time you go to a restaurant.  The answer was always easy before, booth.  Being bigger means two things when going out to eat, in regards to seating.  First was a concern about whether or not the seat would be big enough for your posterior to get in to.  Although some restaurants have chairs both with and without armrests, anytime they only had the ones with armrests there was a concern they wouldn’t be far enough apart to fit you.  A booth doesn’t have that issue.  Even the half booths at most places are wide enough to accommodate a bigger person.  The other issue with restaurant chairs is will they be able to support your weight.  At 380 pounds back in the day it was a realistic fear I would be too heavy for the chair.  I went to a place once with friends and they had those plastic lawn chairs for seats at the tables.  They had a table available but a booth would require us to wait  My friends, who were much smaller, were like “table”.  I had to explain to them, in front of the waitress, that I’d probably crush a plastic lawn chair (many can hold only 250 max).  They of course didn’t mind waiting when they realized that but it was still an awkward situation.  Booths don’t have that issue as they are more solidly built.  Funny thing is that I’m so used to answering booth it’s still my go to answer.  I have to remind myself that a table is fine now when getting a booth will mean waiting.

Crossing the roads at work when walking in from the parking lot is next. My weight, combined with my “bad” ankle always left me hoping there would be no traffic on the road.  Running across the street simply wasn’t an option because I couldn’t move that fast to begin with, and I risked tweaking my ankle.  That would mean walking on a sore ankle my whole shift.  Definitely didn’t want that.  If the situation came up that as I was trying to cross a car was there I’d have to “speed walk” as quick as I can.  So if it was busy I’d go out of my way to take a longer route to avoid the problem.  Most of the time now I recall I can just dash across, but occasionally I find myself starting to head toward the long way when cars are coming.  Then I have to remind myself to just dash across because I’m lighter and faster and can make it.

The last one is clothes.  As you shrink you start being unable to fit into your clothes for the best of reasons, you’re just swimming in them.  Way too big for you.  Before when I realized I needed to get clothes, maybe for a special occasion or to replace worn out parts of my wardrobe, there was a really negative feeling attached to it.  First, it would require driving a bit of a distance to get to the nearest men’s big and tall store.  You’d think with American waist lines on the rise there would be a ton of them, but not really.  It was usually a longer drive into a more traffic dense part of town.  I love going on road trips driving across the spaces between towns, but I dread driving in bigger cities.  It’s just never a pleasant driving experience.  And then when I get there I know I’ll be dealing with a more limited selection and a much higher price tag.  So as I’ve lost weight and had to buy newer, more properly fitting clothes, I’ve habitually gotten that negative vibe going.   Then I remind myself I can go to any nearby Wal-Mart and get stuff because I’m that much smaller and the feeling goes away.

So there you have it.  I realize it’s a bit silly to be living in the past about these things, but that’s the nature of habit.  I’m still losing weight and figure a lot of this will go away once I’ve lost what I wanted and have held on to the loss for a short while.  In the meantime I get to amuse myself a little when I catch myself falling into these old habits.  Old habit do die hard, but given enough time they do die away and are replaced by new, better habits.  Looking forward to when that kicks in.  Have a great day.

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