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a habit of indolence...

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Old 01-26-2010, 10:49 AM   #1
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Default a habit of indolence...

Here's a weird thing I've noticed lately...

When I was up in the 270s-290s I was tired all the time. Little things made me exhausted, like housework, or standing out in the back yard with the dog. It was a subtle thing-- I mean, it's not like I couldn't do stuff, but if I did too much, I'd get tired and achy. Consequently, I developed the habit of not doing much. I spent a lot of time sitting. I was morbidly obese for more than 15 years. I guess I had gotten used to it.

But, what I've noticed is that now, I don't get tired in the same way. I can stand for prolonged periods, do lots of things, and it doesn't tire me out.

But here's the odd thing. I still have the habits of a morbidly obese woman. I find myself expecting to be exhausted, and so conserving my energy the way I used to, even though I don't need to anymore.

There are little things, like asking someone to hand me something rather than getting up to get it, or bigger things, like not wanting to tackle a cooking project because I'll be exhausted by the time clean-up rolls around.

But the thing is, now I don't get exhausted. I can cook and clean up and after doing a bunch of things in a row, I stop and think "wow, I'm not tired... how strange."

I attributed most of my fatigue to the normal aging process and a little bit of it to obesity. I never realized that losing the weight would make me feel as young as I used to be.

So now, I'm trying to constantly remind myself that I CAN do more without getting exhausted. I realize it during my workouts, but around the house and with my kids, my old habits are so ingrained.

Has anyone else experienced this?
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:02 AM   #2
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I have never lost as much weight as you have, and right now I'm still relatively close to my highest weight. But I am sure that we all hold on to patterns in that way. I guess it takes a while to unlearn something that is practiced for so long. I am guessing that when you start noticing (like you have)that it must be a sign of new growth. Congratulations !
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:15 AM   #3
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Wow, you're so right & you phrased that so well. I never really thought about it but I definitely can see myself doing the same thing, acting like I'm still morbidly obese even though I'm not. I know that I struggle with 'seeing' my new smaller size and thinking I'm a lot bigger than I really am...but I still think about activities as if I were 100+ lbs heavier, or worse am still too scared to try things because of my weight.

Even though I workout and can do a lot more, the simple everyday stuff takes a conscious reminder that I'm able. I still don't cook a lot of complex meals because of all the dishes (at my heaviest I would wash dishes for 5-10 minutes, then take a break because my back would hurt). Also, when I go to the store it takes a conscious effort to remind myself I do not need to look for the closest spot (I can now walk distances without pain or getting out of breath, lol).
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:01 PM   #4
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indolence <------ wow BIG word!

I haven't lost as much weight as you have, but I can notice a few things! Carrying the laundry up the stairs isn't as much of a task as it was before. Sunday I did a lot of sewing and I had to stand at the ironing board for some time and I noticed that my feet didn't hurt from standing in one place.

Little things sure make a difference!
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:04 PM   #5
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I've noticed a big difference too, and specifically with cooking. For a while, I was making a salad to bring to work for lunch every day, but then I got to the point where I was too tired to deal with all the prepping and cooking ahead (I put in cooked chicken and hard boiled eggs), and then assembling the salad. So I stopped doing it because it just felt so overwhelming and exhausting.

And when I started back in November, it did still feel a little bit overwhelming. But now it's pretty much second nature and while it is a fair amount of effort, I can handle it and not be exhausted.

OT but in my case, I also had TOM issues and was always anemic. Now that those have been resolved, I've felt a lot better from that too - I go for bloodwork this week and hopefully may not even be anemic anymore!
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gracie789 View Post
Wow, you're so right & you phrased that so well. I never really thought about it but I definitely can see myself doing the same thing, acting like I'm still morbidly obese even though I'm not. I know that I struggle with 'seeing' my new smaller size and thinking I'm a lot bigger than I really am...but I still think about activities as if I were 100+ lbs heavier, or worse am still too scared to try things because of my weight.
I agree. great self awareness. yes, I worry about how much I can walk, that I'll get overly tired, when really it isn't even so much an issue anymore. compared to how I was, I'm practically the energizer bunny now. when we go out somewhere for the day, that requires a lot of walking (up and down subway stairs, street walking, etc.), I get tired but not wiped out.

standing is another thing. standing is no big deal to me now, on the subway, or where ever.

I do put off trying things I'd like to do bec of my size, like yoga.

ps, years ago I had an anemia problem, I had to start taking iron supplements. I couldn't believe what a difference that made energy wise.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:25 PM   #7
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I can remember in bootcamp, when I first started, they'd show us an exercise and I'd think "there is NO WAY I could do that" and then I would do it. It was just my old way of thinking holding me back, not my body!!
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:29 PM   #8
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Definitely:

I still dread putting my shoes on in the morning, even though it's no longer hard to do.

I still send the kids for this or that around the house instead of getting it myself.

I still dread and avoid going up two flights of stairs, or even one, at work, even though I'm no longer out of breath at the top.

I still think before I sit in a chair that used to squeeze my hips.

And I still have bad food habits, especially at buffet style restaurants, so I just don't go. I still need to fill my plate to get my money's worth. And I noticed that when I'm with my best friends, I eat to fit in. Not good, not good.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:41 PM   #9
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I'm still pretty lazy about housework. I'll run all over the place at work, climb stairs, volunteer for whatever, but at home I have trouble motivating myself to get stuff done. I'm not sure if it's because of old habits or if I just really hate to vacuum.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:54 PM   #10
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Totally. And yet... once I COULD do more things... I DID! I rarely ask anyone for anything, I hope up a million times a day when there are other people that could do it for me... I just made up my mind that EVERY SINGLE TIME I moved my body I was burning calories. And so I did!
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfmama View Post
Totally. And yet... once I COULD do more things... I DID! I rarely ask anyone for anything, I hope up a million times a day when there are other people that could do it for me... I just made up my mind that EVERY SINGLE TIME I moved my body I was burning calories. And so I did!
This is a great way to put it!

I try to remind myself of this too... it's more old habits that drive some of my behavior. At one point, one of my daughters was going to hand me something and I jumped up to get it, and she commented, "wow, before you got skinny, you would have made me bring it to you.".. (luv that my daughters now call me 'skinny')

I was NOT AT ALL HONEST with myself about how much my obesity was affecting my ability to do ordinary tasks. I thought I was functioning same as usual, but really I had reached a point where I accomplished very little that required physical activity or effort.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:30 PM   #12
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I totally agree with what everyone has said!
DH commented just the other day how I now do much more than I ever have, but I still find myself avoiding doing things because I think it's going to exhaust me.
I used to have to do 15mins of housework then have a rest, and that habit is SO hard to break. I know now I could easily do a lot more than that, but it's a habit and so I do a little then sit down and waste some time then do more. I was thinking just the other day I need to change this.
I also still get DD to fetch things for me when I know I could do it myself now with no real effort. Yet I go to the gym and work harder at exercising than I think I ever have, it's crazy!
I'm going to try to keep Cfmama's words in my head, that everytime I move I'm burning calores, and see if that gets me off my butt a bit more.
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfmama View Post
Totally. And yet... once I COULD do more things... I DID! I rarely ask anyone for anything, I hope up a million times a day when there are other people that could do it for me... I just made up my mind that EVERY SINGLE TIME I moved my body I was burning calories. And so I did!
Yes, yes, yes!!!! I deliberately decided that in the beginning this was my goal. Move more, burn more calories! I knew I couldn't do much in the 'formal' excercise department but I did know that I could move more every chance I got. I have a arthritic knee so I had often asked for help with getting laundry, etc up and down the stairs. No more. I got a small basket and took it down one load at a time. Did that take me longer? Yes it did, but it also meant moving more. I could do that! Yes, I was obese (morbidly?) and I had a bum knee but I was determined to find away around these things. I didn't want to hurt myself or give myself a heart attack but I just knew that there were a million little ways to do more. And as the weight came off, I could do even more.

Now, I'm down 50+ pounds and I have more energy to put into formal exercise. I can now do my water aerobics classes 3x a week for 45 minutes each time. I know that is not much for some people but for me it's major and it's working!

And yes, I identify with those of you who talk about certain activities that were once exhausting but now wonder what the big deal was! I was once so exhausted at the idea of cooking I had my meals delivered. Now, cooking is just no big deal at all, even at the end of a long day. It's like that for many things but it just keeps getting better and better!

Good luck to all of us on this journey! May we continue to get stronger!
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:53 PM   #14
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I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who has noticed this. It really hit me about housework. I've been telling myself for years that I didn't clean house because I had other priorities... but, over the last few years, I no longer was ABLE to zip around and clean when I had to-- if I needed to do a top to bottom, it exhausted me.

I'm amazed how often I get that surprised feeling-- of OH! I'm not tired...

FWIW, I also suffered a lot from anemia the last few years, and whenever I got really anemic, I also got even more tired... so that could have been a contributor.... but I was so used to being tired that that was the norm for me.
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SUCCESS WITHOUT KRYPTONITE!
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Second Mini-goal 240.5 Half of regain gone.
Third mini-goal below 230 by the end of 2014
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