Sunday, January 3, 2010

Still Too Fat

The other day I was thinking about the whole dichotomy of my self view; how one minute I think I am so thin and healthy and the next I am gasping at my own largeness. It's hard to get my head around, but essential that I face it and not bury my head in the sand.

As I said last month, I am in a happy place with my weight versus looks. I feel pretty good. I fit into a lot of nice clothes. I look good, IMO. I get up in the morning, I slide into my (ever-loosening) size 18 jeans, throw on a size L top and look in the mirror. I smile. Sometimes I even mutter, "Wow! I look pretty good!" You have to understand that for years... SO MANY years... I was in complete and utter denial about my size and appearance, and looking in the mirror often brought me to tears. I'd take a look, feel my face get hot and red, and go to the kitchen for French Toast and sausage to stuff down all those feelings of shame, sadness, and disappointment. How did I get morbidly obese? It seemed to happen without me really noticing, and then one day I looked up and said, "who IS that in the mirror? That cannot be me." But now? Now, I look and I smile and I am fairly pleased, even at 227 pounds.

That said, I am still too fat. Too fat for what? Well, for *me*. For my own comfort and health. Not for some lame BMI chart, and not for some guy to consider me hot. I am too fat for my own best life.

As happy as I am at this weight, as nice as I think I look and as great I feel in my smaller clothing sizes, I'd be kidding myself if I thought this weight is okay for me to remain at, long term. It isn't. I'll tell you why. As much as my health and quality of life has improved by losing 50 pounds, I still am in a lot of pain because of my weight. My knees cannot take it. And now the foot problems. All this weight on my joints and bones just is NOT good. The improvement to my comfort level and mobility is so dramatic when compared to 280 pounds. I cannot help but believe that dropping another 50 pounds will yield even more benefits to my joints and bones. Also, I still have a hard time keeping up the activity level I desire. Oh, it is so much better than it used to be, but the extra weight limits me in what I can do. I tire out more quickly. My knees (again) cannot take the beating of being on my feet for hours on end. And I can't *really* play with my kids the way I want to. I do play, but I am still a slow mover. It's hard to heft all this weight around. I am not exactly nimble. Maybe being 40 has something to do with it, but I've seen grandmas with more speed and agility than I have (and I don't mean athletes. I mean grannies at the park with their grandkids). I have to find out how good my life *can* be. It is good now, but I am not going to settle. I want it all. I want every happy moment I can get!

I also do still feel fairly self conscious about the belly I've got, the big arms, the thighs. I'd like to *look* better TO MYSELF. I'd like to say I am at my best. And having an extra 50+ pounds hanging off me is definitely not my best.

I can do better. It's going to take a lot of work, but I see myself in my mind's eye 50 pounds lighter and I see me living the life I was meant to live: active, energetic, happy. That is what I want for ME.

27 comments:

Mary :: A Merry Life said...

I totally understand this. Right now I'm under 220 pounds and some days I think "Damn, I'm hot." Then the next day I think "OMG, really? I am still so big!" But all the time I realize I'm better off than I was and that if I need to keep going to live a better life then I should just keep going. No one sets goals for me besides me. And I think the same goes for you. The weight you will be happy at is the one you want to be at for your best life. You will figure out what that is and reach it. I know you will.

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

Lyn, you've really come a long way, and I'm sure your body is letting you know how much better it likes it than being 50 or 60 lbs heavier. All I can tell ya is that it gets better still. Keep up the hard work and you'll soon find yourself in the really rarefied air.

Anonymous said...

I see you there, living the joyful life you're choosing for yourself!
It's getting easier to see myself there too!
Thanks for the inspiration!
Marie

Kyle Gershman said...

Lyn,

It sounds like you are overcoming the biggest hurdle to getting fit...the mental side...at least you are examining yourself in a very deep and personal way. The mechanics of weight loss are straightforward and relatively simple to execute as long as the mental side is understood, in check, and pointed in the right direction.

I've been a great dieter, but a lousy maintainer because I ignored the mental side...no longer.

The amount of pounds you carry is a temporary condition...your mindset is what will get you there and keep you there. You are winning!

Autumnforest said...

Taking inventory, ah yes. I understand that one. I made a checklist in my journal for things I hope to attain by losing weight. Some are superficial "go to the beach again" and some are internal "not mind having my picture taken" and others are health related like "less foot pain." In our 40s, arthritis is a big issue and with every one single extra pound, we put much more force on those joints. I try not to think about being "skinny" again, but I do think in terms of "carrying one less pound." The other day, my son was moving and I had to carry some boxes from the car up his stairs to his second story apartment. Several years ago--no problem. Now? I was sucking wind and had to stop and get air. Between carrying my extra pounds and that 20 pounds of extra weight, I realized what I'd be like walking around with 20 more pounds on me. Yikes! Every time I get winded, I remind myself of carrying one less pound. Then, one less pound. Then, one less pound. I wouldn't want to carry around a backpack filled with stuff, but basically being overweight is doing that... It's good to take inventory, but I'm past beating myself up for why I gained weight. It's like getting gray--I just dye my hair and quit asking why I started going gray in my 20s.

Heather said...

Do you ever feel just totally resentful that the weight just seem to come on without "noticing" that you have to work at it so hard? I just feel like that so often, it's a feeling I just haven't been able to get a grip of or let go of.....wondering your thoughts on it......Thank you endlessly for all your thoughtful advice and insight!!!

FrogiNater said...

Just don't knock yourself from where you've come from. You can do it!!! Keep going, and as you are now more comfy in yoru body, you can work towards becoming even more comfy. :)

Salted with Shadows said...

I totally get what you are saying here...I've lost 63 lbs. since my gastric bypass surgery, people are telling me I look great all the time, I feel good, my clothes are smaller, but then I look at pictures from New Year's and still seem huge to myself. Sigh. Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful and honest blog.

Tony the Pink Panda said...

For me, when I have my shirt on, I think I look pretty skinny. When I take it off and see all the loose skin, it' a different story. I hope you will be able to find an ideal weight for yourself where you can be happy and fit. I'm still searching :).

karen@fitnessjourney said...

The fact that you are having days when you like what you see seems like a really big step in the right direction. I really believe that we have to feel like we deserve to be healthy, that we are worth it. You are worth it-and your great attitude is going to help take you all the way to where you need to be. Best of luck in the new year.

Kelly's Ideas said...

Wonderful and inspiring post - I too am having difficulty with knees and back pain due to my weight - I have decided to take charge of my weight and my body.
Thanks from a new follower.
Kelly
http://www.ivebecomemymother.com

Kitteh said...

I just wanted to show some support, from one fat girl with foot pain to another. You can do it!

Olivia said...

I know what you mean about the days you feel beautiful, those days really are so wonderful, and I cherish them.

I also know what it feels like to acknowledge that you still aren't there yet.

But you know what? We are getting there! And this post proves it. You have such a healthy mindset, and I know that you are going to see some amazing changes in these next 50 pounds. I think this will be a very cool post for you to look back on once you don't feel "too fat".

Keep up the good work,
Olivia

KatDoesDiets said...

It takes a while to find the balance between loving yourself where you are...feeling good in your skin, not hating yourself and not being down on yourself, but still knowing you aren't staying here..you got places to go, lol.
For the first time in my life I've found that spot. It feels good.
Great post.

Chris said...

It's so very refreshing to see a sensible person who does not buy into those "Fat Acceptance" bullshit while at the same time having a positive body image.

I'm pretty sure that most of FA people simply have no idea just how much difference an increased energy level can make in your quality of life. I know it too well, because I've been overweight ever since I started to develop girly bits. I honestly didn't know that all those tiredness and lethargy I used to feel 24/7 was not a "normal" state a 20-something women is supposed to be.

I still cannot use a 13 pound dumbbell for my weight training routine. To think that I used to carry a 20 pound dumbbell on my body 24/7... No wonder I used to feel so crap all the time.

I'd be lying if I say clothing sizes don't matter, but you don't think about clothes at every waking moment of your life. But this incredible feeling of being energized and more alive, which comes with dropping useless dead fat weight? It's something that permeates every moment of your life.

Now that I had a taste of this feeling, I don't want to give it up ever again. I flat out refuse to accept living a life in a blah, sluggish state. All those efforts are so worth it. As you so well know too.

Julie Lost and Found said...

Thank you soooo much for this post! Being just at the beginning, and "only" 22 pounds down, I'm just beginning to notice some small changes in the way I look. I know it won't happen overnight but I know it will happen.

I love your attitude! Keep up the awesome work!!

Anonymous said...

Stumbled upon your blog by accident while thinking about my own weight. It's nice to know that others share the struggle, and inspiring to see how well you're doing!
(Going to go try your idea about bok choy as an entire meal now.)
Keep up the amazing work!

Deb said...

Lyn,
Just joined your blog, as you can see I am ashamed to post a picture at 5'4" and over 200 lbs. My kids are grown up and I still have the fat belly etc. God knows I have enough reason to want to get healthy and lose weight, my twin sister died just 2 years ago at 55 yrs. old of a disease directly related to obesity - pulmonary hypertension caused by sleep apnea. I want to live a fulfilling life and not be ashamed of my body - there were times in my life that I did maintain a healthy weight, but it never lasted for long. I think that putting yourself first (ie time for exercise a priority) is one of the things that put me in control when I did succeed - its the natural high that you know will get you where you want to go! I am going to get back on track and I will be watching you for inspiration. We all have a lot of living to do and we want to enjoy it!!!
'

Miz said...

I ADORE THE SENTENCE OF WANTING TO LOOK BETTER TO YOURSELF (Yes, I shouted that :)).

that is and was 100% what it was about for me when it came/comes to how I "look" although as I always yammer the majority of my motivation comes from wanting to stick around for my daughter.

Im so proud of you for all youve done and how far youve come. INSIDE and out.

Carla

Me said...

I used to get so annoyed with (in my view) thin people saying they HAD to loose weight!
Now I understand. It's all about how you feel about yourself. You loose weight for yourself, not for somebody else. How much you loose is up to you and how you loose it too. As long as you feel good about yourself, that the most important.
So good luck with loosing more weight. You can do it! ( my motto for 2010)

Crabby McSlacker said...

It's good that you're not losing sight of how much you've already accomplished!

But it sounds like you're determined to take it to the next level-not for other people, but for yourself.

Good luck! I'm sure the determination you've shown so far will keep you moving forward.

soontobe...skinnygirl said...

Congrats Lyn, on your weight loss to date! Whatever you are feeling, never forget what you have already accomplished. I need to remind myself everyday...every hour, that it's taken a long time to get as big as I am and that it'll most likely take a longer time to lose it. Best of luck on your journey!

The Chubby Girl Diaries said...

I definitely understand where you are coming from.

At 220, I actually felt okay. But yeah, there were days where I would feel all ballooned out again.

Don't get down on yourself. You have come so far and you are doing great!

You *will* get out from under this plateau and things will move along again at a good pace.

((((HUGS))))

~Kellie

Tiff said...

I'm so glad that you are deciding for YOURSELF what weight you are going to be your best at. Right now I weigh 335 (started at 352) and I don't know if I'll want to lose much more after I hit 200 but I'll reasess my goals at that time even though I should probably have my goal at 175- it's about me being healthy and happy. Good post!

Diane Fit to the Finish said...

I can relate to this, because once I was out of plus sizes and into regular sizes I started feeling so much happier with my looks. But even within that happiness was the realization that I wanted to go further.

Good for you on all you have accomplished - you can get all the way down to your goal because you are focused!

Kim said...

You have done great so far! I often feel the same way, until I see a picture of me, then I get just a bit depressed! But I am going to continue at it and get to where I enjoy those pictures!

Sarah said...

I'm going to be Debbie Downer about the weightloss helping your knees. Yes, taking off the weight helps. But in my experience what it helps with is prolonging what I have left and not causing any further damage. It did not help with the pain. And that is something that I think you have talked about in the past, your knees hurting. For some reason I thought that when I lost the weight (185 pounds) that my knee would stop hurting. Alas, no. Once the damage is done, it's done. The pain stays despite the weight loss.

That being said, every pound you take off is less pressure on your knees. Anything you can do to add time to your knees is worth doing.

Keep up the good fight.