Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Learning to Live at Under 200 Pounds

With the exception of about a week where my weight slipped into the 201-205 range, I have solidly spent the last 15 months under the 200 pound mark. Before I hit 199 in June 2010, I had been over 200 pounds for more than 12 YEARS, the vast majority of that time over 240, and sometimes getting quite close to 300 pounds.

I feel like a completely different person in some ways. My lifestyle has been remodeled and updated, and the way I live my life is something like a rebirth. It has been tricky to learn to live at under 200 pounds, but since that is where I want to be for the rest of my life, I am working at it.

My life was limited when I weighed 278 pounds. I remember how I couldn't walk a block without being exhausted and sore. I couldn't carry things far at all, including my own baby. Vacuuming ONE ROOM would put me into a soaked, sweating, panting, red-faced exhaustion. I absolutely dreaded mopping or raking and was always trying to pawn those duties off on other people because they were so painful and difficult for me. My focus was on my kids, but I could not fully participate in their lives. My secondary focus was on food, and the biggest pleasure in my life was eating brownie batter alone in the kitchen. But it was sad. I felt trapped. I didn't think it was remotely possible for me to lose 100 pounds. It was a mountain and I was in no shape to climb it.

My life is so much different now. I can walk for miles before I need to stop due to arthritis. I lift and carry, I vacuum with very minimal effort, and I actually *enjoy* mopping and raking. I was offered a leaf blower last year and without a second's hesitation I turned it down, because I *love* to rake. Most of the time, I don't dwell on food thoughts anymore. Oh I have my moments, or days, like this week (PMS + party food exposure), but it is nothing, NOTHING like the obsession of the past. I can think now. I have more clarity and I can set goals beyond what Value Meal to buy while my kids are in school.

Today was the first really chilly day we've had this fall. I was digging around trying to find something cozy to wear over top of my thin shirt. I got rid of pretty much all of my 'big' clothes and have nothing over a size 14 in the house, and I don't have a whole lot of sweaters. The few I bought last fall are just a titch snug on me (I am about 10 pounds heavier than last October)... they fit but not loosely enough for my comfort. So I dug around and found a couple sweaters I'd saved even though they are bigger. I remember buying them when I was probably in the 220's and how excited I was to purchase these soft, pretty sweaters! They were a little tight but I loved them and figured I could still wear them as I lost weight because I like roomy sweaters.

So I pulled one out and honestly my first thought was "I hope this still fits" (as in, hope it is not too tight) and was shocked to see that it is a size 2X. Wow, a 2X? And then I remember that my clothes used to be all 3X and above, and my 'roomy' sweaters were 4X and even one 5X.

I put it on. Good heavens. The sleeves are so long they cover my hands. I can hold the front of the sweater out and could easily fit a grade school child inside with me. And I thought, "It is really different living at under 200 pounds."

I am wearing that sweater right now. It is cable knit and soft and the color of oatmeal. I couldn't wear it out in public, because it is really huge on me, but it is cozy for a chilly fall morning around the house. And it reminds me. I hold out the sides and am acutely aware that my body used to fill up all that space.

I AM a new person. I AM reborn. I am not sure exactly when it happened but I am mentally and physically loads lighter and completely transformed.

Losing more weight has been a struggle for me, but I am proud of maintaining a huge loss and staying under 200 for nearly all of the past 15 months. I will keep working at it, and hope to open a new chapter living at a 'normal' BMI someday soon.


downsizers said...

You have a lot to be proud of. The title of this post is very accurate - we do have to learn to live at these new, lower levels. It is a big adjustment--new territory. We need to take a breath and get used to the new life that weight loss makes possible.

Princess Dieter said...

Hah, I feel the same. I never have hit my original goal weight of 160--still working on it--but I feel amazing now. AMAZING. This year, it's been a huge revelation. How much I forgot how oppressive morbid obesity and obesity were. This feels great.

I am happy at 181. I could stay here. It feels good. I've not been under 200 as long as you--only since May--but I love it here. I lvoe it here. I LOVE IT HERE. I don't need to be a size 2 or 4 or 6 or even 8 to feel great. Size 14 works for me. :D But I'm still aiming for 160.

Paul said...

Wow, this is very inspiring. You should be very proud. I have not lost as much as you have by far, but I can feel improvement seemingly pound by pound!!! I never thought losing weight could be so much fun.

Sharilee said...

I can understand this. Change is difficult -- even good change. Your inside has to catch up with your inside, so to speak.

Even with losing just over 10 pounds now, I feel better and different. I can imagine it will keep being something I have to get used to.

Great post.

Anonymous said...

I am so very happy for you Lyn! I am back on track for just a little over 3 weeks and 9.2 lbs down is not much in the big scheme of things but its a start after a long stretch of false starts & stops. This time I have to live and breathe my program. My decision to stay the course is for me a matter of life or an early death. With this much riding on my food choices it demands vigorous honesty. I pray to God that I can remain honest around my food choices, I want my life back!!
Linda one of your Medifast winners

Karen said...

Beautiful post, Lyn...and its nice to see you giving yourself credit for what you have accomplished. You are just too hard on yourself much of the time.

RhubarbLady said...

"It is cable knit and soft and the color of oatmeal." Love the mental image of the sweater.

Thank you also for the reminder that we can work outside again without great discomfort from excessive heat. My kids and I are looking forward to the winter squashes like spaghetti and acorn that are finally ripening out here in the West.

timothy said...

so glad you're back in onderland and back in a positive frame of mind,you had me worried for a bit there sweetie. i tossed all my 2x clothes even the ones i loved because having them (to me) was sending the subconscious message that i'd be "fat" again some day and need them. and you better save some room cause i'll be seeing you in onderland soon! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

becca said...

Lyn, what an awesome testament to your hard work! I am on that journey to get to under 200, and I know I will struggle as well...but it takes time to adjust to a different body and different lifestyle. Thanks for keeping it real! ;)

happyhealthy3 said...

This is wonderful! Today is the first day of my new journey. I lost 100 lbs a few years ago but have gained back 90. I swore that this would not happen but it did. I commend you for being happy where you are and recognizing how far you have come. I was so focused on my final number and didn't learn how to live there. Thank you for sharing. I am feeling it!

Erika said...

@Princess Dieter, good for you and all the weight you lost! But I promise, 160 feels SO MUCH BETTER than 180. And now I'm hoping 150 feels even better than that :-). Here is to both of our continued weight-loss journies!

Anonymous said...

This post made me chuckle.

It was a lovely post and I've had the same experience. What a great experience to have, too, when you're feeling fat and regretting a gain!

But, the chuckle was because as I read, I couldn't help but remember the posts of a few days ago. Lyn, if you ever try to convince yourself that PMS is imaginary--line up the tragic "I couldn't eat at the party" posts with this one. It's almost like two different people wrote those posts.

Hormones--not something women make up! (I used to think it was.)


KariHeld said...

this is my first time posting on your blog after finding it a few weeks ago-you are truly an inspiration! I started my weigh loss journey -yet again- at about the same weight as you began yours. I was under the 200 mark a few years ago after a strict weigh loss program and I remember how that used to be.
I can't wait to get that feeling back again. Seeing your weight loss results has really motivated me to do the same! thank you :D

crazedmama said...

That's so exciting! You inspire me!!!

Rachel said...

When Lyn doesn't post for awhile I get concerned that things aren't going so well. Then again, I may be projecting my own tendencies (things go downhill for me, I drop projects and lose myself in hours of TV, internet, books, whatever.)

Hope everything is ok.

Meghan said...

I want this, I want this, I want this!!!! I have about 22 pounds unitl I get there and I can't wait!!!