Posts from the ‘The second 3 months’ Category

It’s a Strange Thing

Lately I’ve been noticing my body isn’t quite mine.  I mean, I know it’s mine…. it’s my body for crying out loud…  It’s just that, my body isn’t the same as I remember it being… ever.

I had a bit of a let down this past weekend when I went to try on some jeans at (where else) Old Navy.  I’d thought I was ready to go down a size, after all the legs of my current ones are much too big.  It wasn’t until I was in the dressing room, jeans pulled up to my waist and realizing I have wayyy too much gut for any of them that it hit me:  My thighs are no longer the bottleneck for my pants.

Hold up.  That never used to be the case.

For my entire life I’ve had big thighs and calves.  They’ve always been the limiting factor when buying pants of any kind.  If it fit over my thighs and I could move, then they were good.  Now suddenly my legs are a size smaller than my waist.  Upon returning home I stared at my body for a while trying to integrate the new information with my brain.  This is easier said than done.  In my mind, my thighs are still the largest part of my body.  I mean, I KNOW differently… but knowing it and feeling it are two very different things.

Meanwhile, on the not-so-analytical side of things I’m totally squealing with glee.  I have to credit the running for the legs.  I’ve seen such a profound impact on my lower body from the running  and it always impresses and amazes me and makes me grateful for the C25K program which started it all… even if it didn’t really make me a runner (I’m pretty sure I was born a jogger anyway.) it at least got the ball rolling.  It also gave me what one of my friends keeps exclaiming is my “cute little butt.”  Mmmhmm, she says it’s little.  She also says its cute.  She also doesn’t stop talking about it when she notices it… fine by me… call my butt little any day – I’ve been working hard at it!

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The Blahs

I’ve got them… in a bad bad way.  Winter usually does this to me in January, which seems to extend on out into eternity.  Heck, we haven’t even had a good snow fall yet this year and I seemingly have lost ambition.

Miraculously I’m still losing weight, albeit at a slower pace, which is fine by me.  Tom Venuto’s blog post on the Holiday’s aside, I’ll be pleased if I  manage even a small loss over Christmas.  I know I came out of Thanksgiving feeling kind of set back, yet confident I could go through Christmas… but I’d forgotten how many food items get thrown around during the Christmas season.  Every single day there is a new treat thrust in front of my face.  Every single day I have to either turn it down (which I’ve done quite a bit of) or decide this is one I’m going to partake in.

The end result is that my eating is sloppy.  It’s not as structured as I’m used to and I’m feeling a bit out of control these days.  I’m still in control, I know this, and yet the lack of tight meal planning and the addition of random treats is making me feel nearly panicked.  I’m sure most of my fear can be attributed to the slippery slope effect… where these treats now will turn into all the time treats which will turn into weight gain.  It’s a very real and very possible scenario.  Yet, what am I doing about it?  Nothing.

This is where the blahs come in.  I’m feeling unmotivated, uninspired and,well… blah.  My Curves weigh in is set for next Saturday (not this Saturday, though I certainly could do it then) and I have a hard time mustering up any excitement or nervousness over it.  I no longer trust their measurements, I no longer think I’m going to reach that 24 inches lost mark because hey, who knows what my measurements truly are?  I had 4 inches to go as of November and if I’m only losing 2 inches in a month when I lose 8 lbs in that month… well it’s looking as though I’ve got a few months left to lose those 4 inches.  The universe could shock me and I could end up with someone measuring me who gives me 30 inches lost like a shock… but again…what’s the difference?

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing my own measurements and I believe I might.  I guess I could always compare them to the ones they do at Curves and figure it out from there.  My original measurements are the ones I’ll have to trust and it’s a good habit to get into anyway because I’m fairly certain I’ll be leaving Curves after my one year contract is up.  I love the workout for all the wrong reasons.  I love it because I don’t have to concentrate while I do it, there are no variations to figure out, there is no making sure I work every muscle group.  In essence, it’s the lazy woman’s work out.  I will always be thankful to Curves for getting me moving again, but I am not – and don’t want to become – your typical Curves lady.  I don’t chit chat while I work out and I keep my butt moving so I keep my heart rate up and do the work out as it was intended.  I know that irks a lot of people there; they find me rude because I don’t chit chat and if they’re slow and not moving every 30 seconds I end up catching up to them and I’m sorry but I don’t stay longer at a station pretending to work out when I’m not.  I get right behind someone and just keep moving.  This pushes them along.  They hate me there… but I digress.

I’m blah and I need something to rev me up.  I need something to be excited about.  Maybe I need a new/different goal as I currently don’t really have a goal other than losing weight.  Anyone out there have ideas?

Holiday Eating

Wow.  I must admit Thanksgiving ended up being an eye opener for me.  All of my practiced ways of eating nearly flew out the door and I definitely didn’t manage to stick to my plan.  I am happy to report, however, that I did manage to not go hog wild.

This was my first holiday since beginning this journey and so my old habits came back to haunt me big time.  My plans were to prioritize my food.  I wouldn’t take the things which didn’t really appeal to me and I would have dessert but would try to be smart about it.  I didn’t necessarily want to deprive myself, but I didn’t want to splurge on things which didn’t really matter to me.  Obviously food is an emotional thing for me and eating is something my family does best, so when we get together, there is just so much yummy food around.  Yummy, not necessarily healthy.  I did ok and I don’t necessarily want to go into detail about every meal.  I’m sure the foods I ate are really only interesting to me.

There is a moment I wish to discuss and this is the moment which really hit home for me.  At my third Thanksgiving (mmhmm, third), the one I made most of the food for, I had this moment where I realized how much things have changed for me and how far I have yet to go.  The meal was over, the dessert had been served and people were lazily munching on the relish tray, the cheese tray, some chips and salsa someone had brought, you know… the munchies.  Without thinking I went to stand by the herd of grazers, you know, to get my fair share of the munchies.  As I stood there, trying to figure out what I wanted to put in my mouth first, I realized I shouldn’t eat anything.  I mean, I’d just had a huge meal complete with dessert and no part of me was hungry in any way… so normally I wouldn’t touch food.  But you see, for years half the fun of holiday gatherings would be the grazing and the munching afterwards.

I’ll admit I stood at the kitchen counter looking at the food and having a sort of inner discussion for quite some time.  In the end, I didn’t munch on anything.  Sure, I wanted to, but only for the sake of putting food in my mouth… not because of any hunger.  Had I been hungry, I’d have eaten something; since I wasn’t, I didn’t.  This decision did not come without some bitterness.  It’s not that I felt deprived, I just felt… (insert some emotion here I can’t quite describe).

Changes are never easy, especially when it comes to food, dieting, and weight loss.  I’m happy I was aware enough of my actions to stop the mindless putting of food in my mouth, but it does highlight the need for another activity to take it’s place.  If my family gathers around the holidays and we celebrate mostly with food, it sure seems like I’m going to need to replace my grazing and munching with another activity.  I need another focus, something different to concentrate on.  I don’t know if I’ll find one and I’m certainly not going to try to change the habits of my family, pushing people into things just usually isn’t the way to accomplish anything… But I am worried about Christmas.  Christmas has what, 10x the munchies and goodies?  Doesn’t everyone do their Christmas baking?  Isn’t Christmas the season of food-pushing?

I guess all I can do is take it one day at a time, do my best, and not beat myself up when I fall into old patterns.  If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.  Right?

Fat Acceptance

I’d never heard of fat acceptance until I started on this particular journey of mine complete with blog and searching through the posts of others for people on a similar journey.  You may notice I now have a few fat acceptance blogs in my links and you may even think this is strange since I’m striving to be a thinner person… and you know something, maybe it would be for a lot of individuals, but it certainly isn’t for me.  Allow me to tell you my thoughts on the subject.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever discussed my goal weight on this blog.  It’s 175 lbs.  I will still be in the category of overweight according to my bmi.  I will still be on the larger side of “normal” clothing sizes.  I will still be considered fat by a large number of the general population.  Why pick 175?  It’s a fairly arbitrary number but it is the number I can remember hovering around for years.  It’s a weight my body seems to enjoy.  It’s the weight I held steady at when I trained for the bike ride through Death Valley and rode an ungodly number of miles on my bike each week.  It’s also a number I feel good at.  I felt sexy and vibrant at that weight.  At 226, I did not feel either of those things.  As the weight has come off, I’ve begun to feel that way again.  My goal weight is the weight at which I feel sexy, I feel confident, I feel good, and the weight at which I’m not fighting with my body.  There are a lot of people who will likely think I’m giving up too soon when I reach that weight, and in all honesty, I have a game plan and if I accidentally lose more weight… well then it will be a nice oops.

With all of the above said, I don’t think it’s really ever been anyone’s business what my weight is (until the blog, obviously, when I made it anyone’s business).  My entire life, I’ve been on the chubby side.  I’ve been made to feel insignificant, ugly, small, ashamed and unworthy because of my weight.  Sure, kids will be kids, but adults have done their fair share of damage as well.  Saying rude, cutting, mean, inconsiderate remarks about a person’s weight is no different than any other kind of harassment where one person ridicules another for who they are.  Making a cutting remark about me being overweight is not any less shameful of an act than making a cutting remark about someone being homosexual.  Of course, society doesn’t see it this way, and that is precisely the problem.  People who spew mean things at the overweight individual make them a less vibrant person, less likely to live their life with meaning, more likely to hide indoors and away from the shame they feel when people judge them.  Not accepting people as they are only leads to people living diminished lives.

I also feel fat acceptance is a timely topic in the United States due to movement in healthcare reform.  There are so many individuals already spewing comments about “I don’t want to pay for some fat person’s healthcare because they can’t stop eating.”  It’s dangerous territory and opening the doors for a lot more harassment.  I cringe to think of the empowerment some people will feel when it comes to using the cost of healthcare as their latest stone to throw.  I also cringe to realize what some individuals find to be a healthy weight.  I wish I could find the photograph/blog now but a while ago I stumbled upon a blog talking about muffin tops.  The writer had posted a photo of a woman with said muffin top.  She likely wasn’t even overweight, her stomach was flat and yet the author was speaking about how gross her muffin top is, stressing that females should try to have as low of a body fat percentage as possible.  All I kept thinking was “What???”  If there are people out there finding fault in that woman’s body… then it will never stop…. and that is what frightens me the most.

Frustration

Yes, it’s that time again… weigh-in day.  At this point I’ve had one weigh-in which hasn’t been botched at Curves.   For those of you keeping track, that’s one in five.  I don’t want to blame this on Curves in general but more specifically the management of the Curves I attend.  It’s absolutely ridiculous.  Two months ago I had 6.5 inches to lose in order to hit the two foot mark.  It’s been very motivating.  Since then I’ve lost 15.5 lbs and…… 4 inches.  I’ve dropped a clothing size, but apparently no inches in the process.  In fact, despite my 7.5 lb loss last month, I’ve apparently gained inches.  Yep, that’s right.

So what gives?  I mean, seriously.  How hard is it to train people to measure properly?  The girl yesterday is very new.  I met her when she first joined Curves and she only began working 2 weeks ago.  She could barely run the scale.  I had to move the big weight into the groove for her.  She has absolutely no idea how it works and when it came time for the final number, I did the math for her because she didn’t understand to add the two numbers together.  I am dead serious.

That being said, I shouldn’t be surprised when her measurements are off, should I?  Or, were her measurements on and the previous woman’s measurements off?  Naturally I did not get a print out, not because I didn’t want one but because she doesn’t know how to do one.  If she can’t provide all of the services I pay Curves for, then why is she working by herself?  If I can’t rely upon Curves to accurately weigh and measure me every month, then why am I paying them for this service?

I’m very irritated but I know a complaint to Ms. Size Zero will not prove to be fruitful.  These things are the way they are because she doesn’t care and would be surprised I’m so upset by it.  In fact, I can see her reaction in my head and she’ll be thinking I’m overreacting which will only piss me off all the more.  It’s just so frustrating.

Like an Old Navy Ad Campaign

Last night I ran to Old Navy to purchase a new pair of black pants as my current ones literally fell off me yesterday.  They’d been large from the start and at this point I just look sloppy in them.  As I walked in to the door of the store from my car, I realized I have very few clothes which aren’t from Old Navy.  Why?  Well they have plus-sized clothing of course and at prices which don’t make me cringe when a student spills some dye on me in the lab.  So I got to thinking… everything of mine is Old Navy.  My coat, the sweatshirt I throw on all the time, all of my pants, 90% of my shirts.  I’m literally a walking advertisement for Old Navy every day of my life.  There is another reason for this…

As I became larger and larger, I shopped less and less.  I eventually stopped shopping for clothing in stores altogether, especially once Old Navy went to having their plus sized clothing online only.  For one thing, it saved me those horrible moments in dressing rooms when the fat seems to be bulging out of every available space and the same size I’d worn for a year is now too small.  For another thing, I already knew how Old Navy clothing fit me… no need to worry about having to send things back.

Right now I”m beginning to feel overwhelmed.  I’ve begun the process of needing to shop in person so I can try things on.  This puts me back out in public where, surprisingly I feel pretty confident these days.  Trying things on is kind of fun, also.  However, I’m still hovering inside of Old Navy, reluctant to leave it’s familiar walls and feelings of safety.  The idea of being able to shop in the mall once again is frightening.  There are so many choices.  There are so many places to shop.  It’s a good overwhelming, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I’m so not used to it.  Plus sized women have few places to shop.  My choices were essentially made for me.  Now that I’m able to shop in so many places, I realize I’m going to go through something of a clothing revolution.  Maybe I’ll start dressing trendy.  Maybe I’ll find I have a style all my own.  Maybe I’ll stop wearing things which are plain, dull and nondescript.

It’s an odd sensation because I realize I’m very likely reinventing myself and doing that is not my original intention.  It’s scary because I realize how badly I do need to reinvent and “find” myself.  It’s exhilarating  because I finally feel as though I’m getting somewhere.  WooHoo!

Facing My Reflection

One of the most challenging things about losing weight, for me, is my body image.  I’ve been overweight most of my life and literally all of my adult life.  Even when I’ve been what I would consider thin for me, I’ve been in the overweight category.  I distinctly remember photographs taken prior to the ugly picture taken in Cancun (you can view it in my progress pics page) which made me want to cry.  No, it wasn’t just about my weight, it was also about my perception of myself as ugly also.

I could get into a long monologue here about feeling happy, looking happy and being happy but I’ll save it for another day.  My issue today is simply this:  I feel fantastic.  As the weight comes off and I fit into smaller clothes which make me feel… dare I say it… attractive again, I’ve noticed a bit more spring in my step, a more confident smile on my face and perhaps even a bit more attitude in the clothing I pick out.  You see, for me (and certainly not for everyone), being smaller makes me feel more confident.

This feel good attitude is sometimes squashed when I see a picture of myself (there are more now than before) next to someone else.  Or, when I hear of what size someone wears.  Suddenly I see I am still quite large.  It’s not always the worst thing in the world.  I mean, I look better than I have in a very long time and possibly better than I have ever before simply because I”m working out, I eat healthier, feel healthier and definitely look healthier.  However, it’s sometimes a shock to the system to feel so great and then realize you don’t look quite as great as you feel.  Now trust me, I don’t let this get me down.  I had days where I felt great when I was 226 lbs, many of them in fact.

It’s just hard to realize that, while I see a thinner, healthier me…. others who don’t know me still just see someone who is overweight.

Not everyone judges me and surely fewer people judge me by my weight now than they did 30 lbs ago.  It’s just hard to remember that not everyone thinks I look fantastic.  And sometimes…. sometimes I am one of those people who thinks I don’t look fantastic.  Sometimes I still feel like the 226 lb girl.  Sometimes the clothes don’t fit properly.  Sometimes the weight doesn’t seem to be coming off quickly enough.  Sometimes I worry I’m not really making much of a dent in the excess fat I’ve got going on.  Actually, a lot of the time I don’t see much of a difference at all.  They always say the people who see you every day will notice less because the change is gradual for them.  Well heck, I look at myself in the mirror every day and I don’t see much of a difference most days.

Sometimes though… sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  It’s usually when I’m busy doing something else and my mind isn’t focused on how do I look? Sometimes, when I catch myself from the side in the mirror my mind goes OMG!  I love those moments.   And here’s the really geeky bit.  I have those moments when I walk towards a glass door.  Every week I go to the chiropractor and, when I weighed 226 lbs I used to hate my reflection in the glass.  My hips seemed to jut out at least a foot from my knees and I just hated how hip-heavy I was.  My outfit never seemed to fit properly and I always looked…. puffy.  Lately though I’ve been noticing something… My hips don’t seem nearly as colossal anymore.   Dare I say they almost look proportional?  And while my clothes still fit poorly, it’s now because they’re too large and I just haven’t bought anything new lately.

The people inside the office might wonder why I begin walking up the sidewalk and suddenly grin from ear to ear but I don’t care.  I’m seeing myself for who I am and right now, that person is a lot better off than she was in June.