Posts Tagged ‘overweight’

4:22 pm - Posted by Gregg

Did you hear the one about the plus-sized burlesque dancer who not only knows that she’s “fat” but also that she’s beautiful? Lillian Bustle recently gave a powerful TEDxJerseyCity talk, during which she admitted to being a wife, someone who’s fat and — most important — someone who’s beautiful. Says Ms. Bustle, “We as women are programmed to tell each other that we’re not fat because to many people — both men and women — fat is the worst thing that you can be. I’m five foot three, so I call myself short. I’m married, so I call myself a wife. I weigh 240 pounds, so I call myself fat. And I am beautiful, so I call myself beautiful. And I’m all of those things at once.”

I applaud Ms. Bustle’s attitude and spirit. Self-worth and self-love are two of the main mental ingredients necessary to create positive change (including getting to a healthier weight — no matter what you define that number on the scale to be). I have stated in a recent post that if we actually love and care for ourselves — even as we are now in this very moment (no matter how many pounds overweight or no matter how far away from any kind of goal) — we become more likely to encounter faster success.

Think about it… If you know a good friend or family member that’s facing a challenge, you want to help them out. But if it’s someone you have distaste for, you don’t really care if they succeed in their quest or not. Well, time for you to think of yourself in a more affectionate way and afford yourself the very same degree of care that Ms. Bustle affords herself.

You can watch Ms. Bustle’s TEDxJerseyCity talk below, courtesy of YouTube and also click to for more on her body positive message.

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6:36 pm - Posted by Gregg

Today is my #NewBook Weightless‘s official release date! And I’m thrilled and humbled to announce that I got a starred review from Library Journal, which is a pretty big deal according to my publisher. There are so many people who made this happen. Feeling so grateful for so much love and support (including from my blog family who has been so full of love and encouragement). Thank you! Here’s the review in case you’d like to take a peek:

(starred review) McBride, Gregg. Weightless: My Life as a Fat Man and How I Escaped. Central Recovery. 2014. 297p. ISBN 9789376126965. pap. $17.95. HEALTH
Film and TV producer/writer McBride (Just Stop Eating So Much!) relates his lifelong battle with weight, from 175 pounds at age eight to 464 at age 22, and now, back to 175 today. The author survived an abusive childhood by bingeing on sweets and snacks, eating until the physical pain from his full stomach overwhelmed any other emotion. As an adult he tried many diet programs without success, finally shedding the weight through exercise and proper nutrition, without gastric bypass. McBride is brutally honest about his struggles as he details his problems with self-esteem, shopping for clothes, dating, and the loose skin that remained after his weight loss. He eventually had surgery to remove the skin, and bluntly describes the pain and scarring associated with his recovery. The story is ultimately one of triumph, as ­McBride has maintained his current size for more than ten years. The last section includes his tips for losing fat, a few recipes, and a fascinating list of observations of the behaviors of slender vs. overweight people. VERDICT: Anyone who has lived with excess weight will appreciate this book. Teenagers and young adults in particular may identify with and benefit from McBride’s story.
­Rachel Owens, Daytona State Coll. Lib., FL

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August 7, 2012

Alarming behavior

9:01 am - Posted by Gregg

When I tell people I workout seven days a week, the usual reaction is “Really?!” Followed by, “How do you do it?” When I add that I get up around 4:30am every morning and that I am at the gym by 5am — including on weekends and even holidays, people usually start to wonder if my body’s been taken over by an alien being. And, I must admit, on certain mornings I wonder the same thing.

First of all, no — it’s not easy dragging my butt out of bed when the alarm rings every morning. This can be as true on a Thursday or Friday as it is on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday. When the alarm rings, I’m not always a ‘happy camper.’ But I never (and I mean never) reach out and hit ‘snooze’ on the alarm clock. Instead, I do a quick stretch (sometimes with an added ‘groan,’) cuddle with my puppy for a few seconds and then jump up and get going. At this point, I’m usually in ‘robot mode’ (AKA ‘automatic pilot’) as I brush my teeth, wash my face and run a few fingers through my hair (before deciding the early morning gym crowd can just deal with my ‘bed head’). After getting dressed and grabbing my gym bag, I’m out the door.

I’m usually the first to arrive at my gym (even before the person who opens it). And I see the way the person who opens the gym looks at me, wondering himself if I’m part alien. At this point I’m forced to admit that the answer is probably ‘yes.’ This is because I’m a much different person today than I was years ago when I weighed over 450 pounds, during which time I would become breathless just from talking on the phone and participated in no physical activity whatsoever (unless you count ‘chewing’ as a physical activity). Ironically, during the time I was that heavy, I usually always wore sweatpants and t-shirts (AKA the usual gym-wear), since with a 60-inch waist, those were the only types of clothing items that I could find that would fit (not to mention stretch with me as my body grew bigger and bigger).

When I think about ‘those days,’ I’m able to understand why I’m somewhat obsessive about working out these days. I never want to go back to my former habits (the ones that kept me tipping the scale at over 450 pounds). And while also helping me to maintain my self-imposed work schedule for the rest of the day (after my daily workout is complete), exercising also keeps my ‘inside’ as healthy as my ‘outside.’ And I’m not gonna lie — I like looking good as well as feeling good.

Now, just because I exercise 7 days a week at the crack of dawn doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Just as with a healthy eating plan, you need to create and stick to an exercise regimen that works for you, individually. The good news is that you don’t even have to join a gym to do so. Just walking several times around a block (or a track field, a park, a mall — the list goes on) is a good place to start.

After years and years of yo-yo dieting, I find that working out 7 days a week is essential to my metabolism and my current dietary needs (and occasional dietary splurges). One exercise program is not right for all people. So you need to do what works for you as well as what works for your schedule. (And depending on your current medical condition, you might want to consult with a doctor first — be smart about it.) Personally, I find working out first thing in the morning a better choice, since by the end of the day I’m tired and can usually come up with 100 excuses why I don’t have time to (or don’t feel like) work(ing) out.

But do I love it when the alarm rings? No. Am I thrilled when stepping onto the treadmill knowing I’m going to be on it for an hour? No. Do I love waiting for a trainer and his or her client to stop using the one piece of gym equipment or weight set that I need to complete my workout routine? No.

But do I love how I feel when my workout is complete? Yes. Do I love breathing without difficulty? Yes. Do I love getting a medical checkup and my doctor telling me my lab numbers are “Insanely good?” Yes. And do I love being able to treat myself to occasional indulgent foods knowing I’ll work the calories off the next morning? Hell yes. I mean, um, yes. You get the point. The working out is worth every morning groan (when the alarm rings) and every drop of sweat. Bedhead be damned.

So join me in my insanity, won’t you? Whether you’re setting the alarm for early in the morning or scheduling a 30-minute walk later in your day (perhaps during your lunch break), please do your body, mind and soul a favor and make working out a part of your life — one that you stick with throughout the year.

Again, it doesn’t have to be every day. It doesn’t have to be at some crazy hour. But it really does have to be. As much for looking good and feeling good as for being healthy on the inside. Your health is important to me. So let’s be mad workout alien beings together!

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July 2, 2012

Games people play

9:21 am - Posted by Gregg

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These days when I think back to some of the misadventures that I had when being over 250 pounds overweight, I often chuckle to myself while also admiring my stamina for not only getting through that time in my life, but also conquering it by taking off all of those excess pounds. But during the time I weighed over 450 pounds it was a different story entirely. Not only was I trying to hide what I was going through from the rest of the world, I was also trying to hide my exploits (and the fact that I was the reason I was so heavy) from myself.

Case in point? When I would make my daily treks to fast food restaurants to order multiple entrees to then take home for lunch or dinner. Not only did I prefer to eat in private (thinking I would be adversely judged if anyone saw me actually consuming food out in the “open”), but I also preferred to wear an oversized bathrobe while eating – a clothing item that didn’t require any pain when wearing. (At 450+ pounds most of my clothes – even the balloon-y, oversized ones – were very uncomfortable when being worn.)

Yet I wasn’t merely content to eat in private. I didn’t want anyone in public – or even at the fast food joints – to know I was ordering all that food for myself. Thus, I came up with what I thought was an ingenius plan. I used to scribble everything I wanted onto a piece of paper and, when arriving at the counter to place my order, would read off of it – as if I was ordering for a group of people. Add to that, I would order several more drinks than I needed (and a variety of drinks at that) to further cement my charade of “Ordering for a small group.”

Even if I utilized a drive-through to place my order, I would have a list in hand and “pretend” to read off it (as if I were a great voiceover actor) – just for the entertainment of whomever was at the other side of the ordering microphone. And when I would finally reach the drive-through window, I would often hand the employee my list and ask them to throw it away – as if “visual proof” was a crescendo (of sorts) to my great performance.

Of course, looking back, I can see that the only person I was “fooling” was myself. I imagine that most employees of the restaurants I frequented couldn’t have cared less about what I was ordering – much less whom it was for. And if they did care, so what? And yet I kept this “Lying game” up for years (during my most obese period in life).

Back then, I never imagined that I would share this “deep, dark secret” with anyone – much less write about it publicly on a blog. But I’ve learned over the years that sharing tidbits like this not only helps others realize they’re not alone in their mental and physical struggles to take off the pounds, but also to help myself accept my past and stay committed to never returning to that kind of mental game playing again.

Have you ever played out a similar “game” to fool others and/or yourself? What were the results? Is it anything you feel like sharing? I promise not to judge. Again, our confessions to one another only serve to bond us – not to mention help us (and others) – proving that old addage to be true: What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. Or, at the very least, gives us a good chuckle.

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