Sunday, April 25, 2010

Is This How Normal People Feel?

Today is weigh-in day, and I was pleased to see the number 213 on the scale. Not only is that a 3 pound loss for the week, but it is also the lowest weight I have seen since 1997. Thirteen years. I feel really content about that. Excited, happy, but mostly just content. It feels right.

Back in 1997 my world fell apart. With four small children from 1 to 7 years old, I became a single mother. I don't have a detailed record of my weight that year, but I know I weighed 184 pounds in April, and by winter I weighed 227. I never got below 227 again until 2008. The Decade of Hell, in more ways than one. And strangely, just now I am realizing that THAT is what I have been trying to escape from. Not just the obesity prison of those ten years, but the sadness, the struggle, the sense of not being *enough* for those ten years. And now I feel I have escaped both.

I thought I was so tired because I was older. I thought the energy and drive I had in my mid-20's was gone because I am 40 years old. I thought raising my little girl made me so much more exhausted than raising four kids in my 20's because of my age.

I was wrong.

It used to be that I was too tired to mop or vacuum, so I let it go. When I finally did get around to mopping, I'd do one room and be way, way too tired to do anymore. When I went grocery shopping, it wiped me out for the day. If I ran errands, it was usually ONE errand, maybe two, because getting the baby in and out of the car more than twice was just too much for me at 278 pounds. If I cooked dinner, I was too tired from the prep to clean up afterwards, so my kitchen was always left a mess when I went to bed. I'd clean it in the morning when I got up. Everything just took *so much* effort.

Yesterday, I had a pretty nice day. I did a couple loads of laundry and changed the sheets on my bed. I tidied up the art supply cabinet for my daughter, gave her a bath, and folded and put away laundry. I mopped the kitchen and dining room, three bathrooms, the entryway, the hallway, and the family room. And when I was done mopping I felt good! I love the nice fresh smell of a freshly mopped house.

I had lunch and then cleaned two bathrooms. I had a couple of friends over for my daughter to play with for awhile, and then I strength trained with dumbbells for 15 minutes. Around 4pm, I looked out the window and saw how beautiful it was and thought, "I'd sure like to take a walk." And so I did: I walked a good pace for about 20 minutes. And then I came home, made dinner, washed all the dishes, and left the kitchen spotless.

Where did all this energy come from? I don't know... is it from losing weight? I feel so much better than I did even 20 pounds ago. The kicker, for me, is the mental state I was in as I accomplished all these tasks yesterday: I was happy and relaxed. I was not pushing myself, or talking myself into doing more, or feeling pressured to get things done. I could have stopped at the mopping and felt like I had a productive day. But I *wanted* to do more. I felt like lifting weights. I felt like walking. It was no trouble or major effort to wash the dishes. I didn't mind. THIS IS VERY NEW. In the past, even when I DID get a lot done, I was pushing myself, cracking the whip over my head and yelling, "Keep going! Get it done!" And I'd be exhausted and actually miserable at the end of the day. But after dinner last night, I felt tired in a *good* way. I felt happy and relaxed and knew I'd fall asleep easily when I went to bed. And I wondered: Is this how normal people feel?

Is this how people feel when they are not afflicted with dis-ease? When their bodies and minds are functioning normally?

I think maybe it is.

In fact. I feel like the person I was back in 1997, before I got obsessed with food. Before the binges really hit. Before I was morbidly obese.

I feel like I have gotten ten years back on my life. I thought 40 HAD to feel old and tired. But it doesn't. Yes, age does slow us down a bit, and our bodies aren't the same as they were at 25. But you know what? I feel normal again. I feel like I have the ability now to live life the way I did when I was 25... without exhaustion and constant pain and always pushing myself against my will. I can do the things I want to do, and be happy about it.

I have my life back. I will never take it for granted again.

42 comments:

Deb said...

I am dearly hoping to find this to be true for myself as well once I get some of this weight off. Everything takes SO MUCH effort. It's exhausting.

I am glad to be reading how much better things are getting for you.

Laurie said...

Awesome post! So glad you're feeling like a "normal person." Congrats on your weigh in! You will only get more and more energy as the weight keeps coming off . :-)

mbm1forever said...

Awesome post and again, reflects what I feel as well. We are getting our lives back and funny thing is that we thought we were giving something up!

He Took MY Last Name said...

It really is a disease, isnt it? Sigh :(

Good for you at 213! I have to get my ass in gear, I went up from 220 to 223!

You have ten lbs on me! Dont worry though, RIGHT behind you now!

Your blog is so motivating!

Anonymous said...

Oh Lyn,

You are so inspiring! I am so excited for you. I hope that we get there too. I am so tired of the exhaustion.

YOU GO GIRL


Mother Of Many

Reese said...

I loved reading this post. I am very slowly beginning to feel more energetic and it is so exciting to think that it will only get better and better with each pound lost!!

Leslie said...

Congratulations on this new low! I'm sooooo happy for you, Lyn. I also just caught up on your last 3 posts as I was unable to get to my computer since Friday. You just sound so good, and you ARE normal. It's wonderful to hear you so joy filled and reaping the benefits and good feelings of all your hard work.

Jules - Big Girl Bombshell said...

I have been thinking alot of my energy things were my age (49) and my small health things (Vit D) , but after reading your post..I see LOUD AND CLEAR it is much more about my weight!

I just want to say THANK YOU!

mommygonemilf said...

I think it's a combo of weight loss and mental energy shift (from negative self abuse to positive self love) that lifts the spirits and the energy! Good job Lyn! You are taking such great care of yourself!

She woke up FAT said...

Thank you for writing this. I couldn't agree with you more :0 this is how I am feeling as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn,

What you discribe is something I can relate to.When I binge a lot, I am just too full to do exhausting tasks. I can only sit and eat. It is a combination of being depressed and physically unable to do anything that takes an effort. I believe it is not only the weight but also a state of mind.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

Jacqueline (The Netherlands)

D. said...

lyn, i am so so happy for you, like a friend would feel for someone they actually KNOW, in real life.. im proud of you and i wish i could feel the same one day, and before im 35.. i want to wear all the sexy clothes, and do all the sporty things i never got to doing because of my "obesity" however, i felt how strong you are now and for now, im so proud of you and you must know that :-)
Diana

Memória said...

Oh, I wish I could have your energy! What a vast improvement! Keep it up! Congrats on losing more!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,

Congrats on the new low! Before you know it, you will be in ONE-derland!! I know it's not about numbers on a scale but it's still going to feel pretty good, right? :) Anyways, I have a very selfish request: I was wondering if you might ever consider posting all your recipes in one spot. I know you have a recipes section but I know its not comprehensive. For example, those cool pomegranate cluster things you made isn't listed there. Anyways, I know it's rude of me to ask you for a favor when you already provide me so much inspiration for free but you just have so many awesome recipes that I want to make sure I try them all! So maybe you have all your recipes saved on your computer somewhere and one day if you ever get bored or something, you could make a comprehensive list for your blog. I would SOO appreciate it! And if you ever come out with a recipe book, I will gladly buy a few copies for your efforts! Thanks Lyn :) Keep up the good work!

screwdestiny said...

That's great, Lyn! Being at a normal weight, I can't tell you I don't have tons of energy every single day, but I usually don't have a problem getting all the things done that I need to. It's wonderful that you feel that way now. :)

Lisa said...

I am beginning to find this "normal" feeling that you are talking about. I too have been having more energy and able to spend time up with my family and get a lot more done around here.

For me yes it is the weight loss, but it is also the exercise. What I mean is that on days I don't exercise I find that I don't have as much energy as the days when I do workout. So, I think the exercise has a lot to do with my energy levels.

I just wish I would have figured this out years ago. But so glad to have the feeling now.

Congrats on your lost so far and you do inspire me to keep going.

AMT said...

i have been reading for some months and never commented, but i wanted to tell you how inspiring you have been to me, how clearly your thoughts make my own come into focus, and how much i share your feeling of renewed and empowering energy from weight loss. your life sounds like it has had maybe had more struggles than mine, but i still identify with many of your experiences, and your conquering of old binge issues, and every post of yours that i read the last couple weeks give me lots of strength to go on. woo! thank you!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that within a few short weeks, you will be in the 100s!

Autumnforest said...

Yeah, imagine carrying around a backpack with 20, 40, 80 pounds in it and how much harder moving around would be and exhausting. Any little activity would seem overwhelming so you'd say, "screw it!" So, you're figuring out now that without those extra pounds to shuffle around, you have spring in your step, less soreness, less mind fuzz. You're really getting it. Some people go from before to after and focus on just the way they look better, but when you get how much better you feel inside and how much younger, it helps you to sustain it as you grow older.

ryry the adventurous said...

Lyn I am just so elated with your progress, and your happiness!!! You are doing AMAZING!

kellyO said...

I want this for myself. What a fantastic post - so inspiring! Thank you.

Jennifer said...

Good for you Lyn! Are you still taking the B vitamins that I think you mentioned a few posts back? I take the ones from Vitamin Shoppe sometimes because they are sustained release and stay with you all day. Energy without side effects :)
Congrats on your weigh in. I too hit a weight this week that I havent been in a decade. And the feeling is awesome. I am so proud to be getting my life back too. You put it best that you wont take it for granted. Well put.

Jennifer
http://wecanlosethepounds.blogspot.com/

Lyn said...

Jennifer~

I still take the sublingual B's once a day. I take them about 5 days a week. They do seem to help!

Physicallee Fit said...

I've lost 35 lbs. I still have a ways to go (about 130 lbs.). I hope it's true for me too. I hope I feel more energy to take care of my kids, do the errands and the cleaning and whatnot -- when the weight is mostly gone.

Anonymous said...

Lyn,

Normal. I think every obese person longs to know that feeling. For me, it isn't the weight loss (I still have about 80 to lose.) No, for me it is the low carb eating plan. I noticed a change after just a few days, and the feeling of normalcy has continued. I don't obsess about food anymore, and I don't have food cravings. At all. It really feels like a miricle to me after dieting for months on a regular balanced lo-cal diet (typically high in whole grains), which did not include any foods with processed sugar.

I believe I have found the answer to metabolic syndrome, at least for me, and I own much of this insight to you and your blog. I couldn't afford Medifast, so I decided to construct my own diet (using foods I purchase) that resembled a low-carb version of Medifast. For example, I supplement with whey protein and generic benefiber.

You have been such an inspiration!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

--Rebecca

thefinalpursuit said...

I just started my journey at 278 and I'm exhausted and in pain all the time in my mid 40's.

It's so encouraged to read this entry. It's just what I needed today. Thank you.

Rosh

theresa said...

thank you Lyn,
allowing us to celebrate with you is so wonderful.

CJ said...

I know about this energy you are talking about. Just a little more than 10 lbs down I feel so much more energetic! I think its weight loss coupled with less, eating and workouts, all these contribute to this spurt in energy.

Congratulations on the 3 lb loss! Its awesome.

Anonymous said...

You know...it's strange how I've never made the solid connection between obesity and inability to complete tasks around the house. Everything just seems so tiring! I can't wait to feel the way you do. Keep up the good work.

Roaring Lioness said...

Very inspiring post. I can't wait to feel like that. It is not so much about the number on the scales, but the thoughts in your head, I feel. You're in control and at ease with yourself, and so life is easier.

Fat Grump said...

I think a sense of achievement is a huge boost to our well-being. When we stagnate (as with being overweight but doing nothing about it) it impacts on our whole lives. A sense of helplessness sets in and brings us down.

You have such a determination to succeed that I think you have worked brain-magic! It's all in our heads, and good feelings because we succeed inspire a positive life.

Right now I am stuck and feeling that everything is a struggle. I must go and take some of my own medicine :) Positivity is good!

Fat Grump said...

Oh...ha ha ha! I have to post again. Guess what the last word verification was for this reluctant dieter?

'PRATT'! Love it! :)

Now there is a message for me if there ever was one. LOLLING all over the place.

Andra said...

No, it's how healthy people feel. People who don't rely on energy drinks and Coke all day long for energy. People who don't live on the standard American diet. People who fuel their body with nutritious things. People who get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and get lots of physical activity. Healthy isn't really the norm in this country, unfortunately.

Lisa said...

Sounds wondeful!

MB said...

Congratulations on getting below 214. It's very inspiring to hear about your success after years of struggling with binge eating. I've been pretty much binge free since leaving my high stress job in November.

I may be over 40 but I'm glad I no longer feel like I'm 100 and living in a sugar induced fog all the time.

Lyn said...

Andra~

You have a most excellent point!

Susan said...

Excellent post! Sounds like you have truly escaped from obesity, not only by losing the weight but shifting your mindset, too.

Debbie said...

What a wonderful post. 213 is amazing before you know it you will be under 200.. Way to go!!!

Tracie said...

Exactly what I needed to read today.

And I'm really happy to see that you're feeling so good. It gives me loads of motivation!

Kate said...

I turned 40 last October and I feel better today than I ever did in my 30's that's for sure!!

Glad to hear you had such a nice weekend. Keep up the good work! :)

kgrenier12 said...

what a powerful post.

awesome.

Chris said...

I completely agree with Rebecca about the incredible benefit of low-carb eating. It's so liberating not to have to struggle with food craving anymore. I'm no longer a helpless slave to my hormones.

I have come to a conclusion that willpower is vastly overrated in weight loss. It's really all about your hormones. You just have to develop your own customized formula to tame your hormones, because you can't beat them. You can have willpower of a celibate monk in the Playboy mansion and won't be able to say No to Krispy Kreme donuts.