Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Harajuku Moment

I've been needing to lose some weight and build a little muscle for some time. I have never in my life been what anyone would call "skinny", except maybe for in high school when I actually was quite slim but being a 6 inches or more taller than all the other chicks, I always felt like Sasquatch.

Maybe that's a bad example.


Well, let's just say, I spent most of my life as the fat girl. Or at least the big girl. After the birth of my first son, I started to get bigger. And then, after my second son was born, I got even bigger.

Fucking hormones!

So, yeah. I've been getting fat. And depressed. And drugs don't work.

It's a really horrible cycle: my hormones got messed up due to postpartum depression so I ate more, I got heavier and that messed my hormones up even more, and I got more depressed, and that makes me eat even more.

Fun times!

Even as I lift that beautiful round disk of momentary happiness up to my lips, as I smell the butter but before I taste the delicate sweetness (I LOVE shortbread!) I know I should not eat it. I KNOW I should grab a glass of water or just plain walk away. I KNOW what the effects of that cookie will be. And the other cookie which I will eat an hour later. And the Snicker's bar I will eat 4 hours after that. Ad infinitum.

I know I need to eat differently. But knowing and doing are two different things.

In 4-Hour Body, Ferris describes the Harajuku Moment. It's that moment of epiphany when you feel in every fibre of your body that a change MUST occur. Without that moment, any intellectual decision I may make is wishful thinking. Without my Harajuku moment, I'll never get beyond fantasizing about losing weight.

Luckily, I had my Harajuku moment last week. And that's why I bought Ferris' book when I saw a review of it.

My family goes up north on a pre-Christmas holiday every two years at a time-share. The resort has an indoor pool my husband and sons love to swim in. The last two times my youngest was just a baby - literally four years ago as I was 16 weeks pregnant - and with only one child needing supervising in the pool, I got out of swimming. I like to swim, and I don't. It's kind of boring.

But my little one is 3 now, so no luck this time. We needed both parents on duty in the pool and that meant getting into my swim suit.

Even before I put my suit on, before I discovered the suit barely fit anymore, despite being a plus sized tank top and skirt style suit that hides most flabby flaws, I caught sight of myself in the full-length mirror.

My jaw dropped, I was overtaken by a wave of nausea and I cried. In that order.

I knew I was at my largest, but I hadn't ever seen what that looked like. It was horrible. And not just horrible: it was scary.

It all lined up for me at that moment:
  • I'm back in my largest clothes, size 24, and even they are all getting too tight.
  • My skin is like a teenager's: I have pimples constantly. I'm almost 40 fer crying out loud!
  • I get random ankle and knee pains due to strain.
  • My back aches every morning when I wake up because of the screwed up angle my extra wide hips now create from my knees all the way up to my shoulders making side-sleeping uncomfortable.
  • I eat sugary foods like a crack addict. I have zero self control. 
  • I work with birthing women and am on my feet for upwards of 8 to 12 hrs and sometimes more and my feet hurt so badly, even with specialty shoes, that I could cry. Not good when my job is helping women stay centred during labour. 
  • Stretch marks. Lots of them. They itch when they are new. They won't go away even when I lose weight. 
  • One of the worst things: I just can't enjoy sex anymore. It's tough. Some positions aren't comfortable anymore. I feel self-conscious for time in my life with the man who loves me most and accepts me just the way I am. This is a huge deal in my marriage.
These are the things I need to remedy. I could care less about looking like a model or getting "skinny". I'd be ridiculously happy living in a size 14 body. Looking skeletal has no appeal for me. Or my husband. He's not looking forward to my losing my boobs when I lose the weight. (Tall chicks generally have small boobs when skinny. It's a generalization but it's generally true.)

So, that's my Harajuku moment. That's why I have to do what I'm going to do. And that makes it far more likely that I'm going to have even some success. Though, when I look at the numbers, even small success will be huge!

What's your Harajuku moment?


  1. That's a pretty intense moment... Thanks for sharing that. I have wanted a Harajuku moment for a really long time. Like you said, I have known *what* to do for years, but it's always been so difficult to do it. I knew I needed *something* to get the motivation to keep going, but I didn't know what it was. Even the wedding I've been looking forward to for a year hasn't been enough (it's in a month).

    I guess mine came as I was reading the book. I started it almost on a whim after reading the Slow-Carb 1 chapter on Gizmodo, and I bought the book the next day. And while I read the book, I was just like "I can do this..." I guess that was my moment - when I realized that I don't have to fear failure.

    Things sort of lined up for me as well, I guess. I had been specifically working on spiritual discipline, and I saw growth there, and I believe that it helped with physical discipline as well. I've officially been doing this longer than other "diet" attempts over the past several years.

    In the immortal words of Rob Schneider, paraphrased, "We can DO it!!!" :)


  2. Thanks J. It was literally the next day when I saw the review of 4HB and I knew that when I got home from the vacation I was going straight to the book store and grabbing it. I've never really done a diet or regimen before, so this will definitely be interesting.