Sunday, August 12, 2012

Unrecognizable

The other day I was walking my pup in the usual places when I saw a neighbor walking his dog across the grass in the park. I recognized him right away as well as his dog; we've chatted many times in the past. I always walk past his house on my usual route, and he has approached me and my dog dozens of times since I got her to stop and pet her, ask what she is up to lately and chat with me about dog stuff in general. We've even let our dogs play together a few times. So when I saw him walking and he glanced in our direction, I waved. He looked. He put his hand up to shade his eyes from the sun, looking harder. He came towards us and I said "hi! How is Benji?" and he stopped, looked at me, looked at my dog and said "oh hi! Does someone else usually walk your dog? I recognize the dog but not you!"

Well then. Maybe I have become unrecognizable. Granted, I am 40 pounds heavier than when I met him. I am wearing jeans 2 sizes bigger than I was last summer. But do I look that different?

I thought maybe he just had a little memory lapse. I was just assuming it was the weight that threw him off, after all. But then a different friend posted a photo of me in an email last week. I about died. Do I really look like that?? Man, I gained that 40 pounds back in ALL the wrong places. I look completely different than I looked at this weight coming down the scale. Really. It was an unflattering angle, sure, but there is no angle that will hide the changes that are truly there.

I am not being too hard on myself, here. It is reality. This morning I weighed 217 pounds. I have pretty much been up and down the same 5 pounds since March. And when I see people who haven't seen me since last fall, they do a double take. I don't like it. It feels like crap.

So I am looking back over the effort I have made since March, and I know it is enough to maintain at this weight but not to keep losing. Yet again for the millionth time on this blog, I need to shake things up and get the scale going down again. But I need to do it without losing my new found peace, joy, freedom, and focus on the important. I refuse to become a diet-obsessed, exercised-obsessed person; that can work for the short term (it has for me) but when you're a mother, it's important not to let those obsessions take away from focus on family and children. At least that's how I see it. So I work on balance.

My balanced agenda tomorrow: cleaning, decluttering, walking the dogs (1/2 mile each), swimming with my daughter, reading, drinking iced coffee, making a 7-layer salad, and going to a barbecue with friends. If I have it in me I will also bike for 5 or 10 minutes tomorrow evening.

I know how to maintain at THIS weight. I think it wouldn't take much of a bump down in calories and up in activity to see things going in the right direction again. So that's what I'm doing.

21 comments:

Kelli said...

HI! I just found your blog, and I have to say, I am so happy! usually when I see a story that inspires me to lose weight, the person is 20, or 5'2", or something I cannot relate to. You, on the other hand, are the same age as me, I have 5 kids, you were the same starting weight, etc. I cannot believe it! I am so thankful I found your blog. I have been beginnning to THINK about losing weight (I always have to 'psych' myself up), and then I find you! Thank you for sharing your journey. I haven't read all of your posts yet, but I just wanted you to know that you inspired me, and to tell you not to be so hard on yourself! Take it one day at a time, you have come so far...it's amazing! :)

Anonymous said...

Just from my own personal observation and experience of my own 50 yr old body. There is a HUGE difference FOR ME between 215 and 200. And I mean a WORLD of difference in the way I look. Just saying...if it is of any help to you. I am back 100% OP with Medifast again and losing at a rate of 2lbs a week. Happy again!

Hugs,
Noxie

Vickie said...

I realized I have been seeing someone I used to know and ignoring her because I did not recognize her. I felt terrible when I (finally) realized who she was. I have not seen her again since I realized it, so have not been able to say hi and inquire after her kids/life.

Yes, the weight comes on in all the wrong places and that fact can be a huge help in maintenance.

Anonymous said...

Are you feeling better from the headaches/flu like symptoms you were having a few weeks ago? You have not mentioned it so I assume you are better. I hope so.

Glad you are back.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

Yes, better thanks. I still get headaches but nothing unmanageable right now.

Lori said...

Lyn,
I know it feels awful to regain weight. I'm right there with you. Please don't get down on yourself. As a long time reader, I see the emotional growth and that is vital to permanent weight loss.

Just the last few weeks, you've decluttered and cleaned out cobwebs physically and emotionally. That is a huge step in the right direction. You no longer need those things in your life just like you no longer need the junk food.

Keep doing what you know to be right and the weight will follow.
Lori

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lyn, I know you don't especially like comments, but I happened to pop over here for the first time in months - glad you are feeling good!

Jes

Lyn said...

Jes~

I love comments! If I didn't, I'd just turn them off. Glad you stopped by :)

Anonymous said...

I saw on your Facebook you are thinking of joining a gym! I would love to hear more about that.

By the way, remember that you have already beat the odds. Something like 90% of people who lose a lot of weight gain it all back within 5 years. Congratulations of beating the odds!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think that as a mother it is incredibly important to be focused on diet and exercise. The healthier you are, the better for everyone.

I also think that there is nothing wrong with being "obsessive" - I prefer to think of it as being focused. Sure, when you start to exercise for hours and hours every day, maybe that is going overboard - but an hour or two every day is an investment in not only your health but your kids. Just saying - I think it can be easy to use "I don't want to be obsessive" as an excuse.

~Carol

Anonymous said...

Lyn, did you change your hair style by any chance? Sometimes that really throws people off.

It doesn't seem like forty pounds would make that big of a difference.

Anonymous said...

I also know what its like to regain weight. It really does feel like crap. When I regained my weight, I gained double what I lost.
Your attitude toward it is amazing Lyn. Taking every day at a time is the way to go. :)

Lyn said...

Carol~

obsessive is a mindset, one I don't want in my life anymore. Thinking about calories, fat, carbs, weight, etc constantly is not something I embrace anymore. One can be active and exercise and eat correctly without being obsessive. It's important to me to have a balanced minset and life so that's what I am fostering now.

Anonymous~

nope, no other changes. I did have to take a long, hard look in the mirror to "see" myself as others do.

Anonymous said...


40 pounds is a huge difference. I think by "owning that" you are being honest and accountable to yourself and others here.
It is what it is.

Anonymous said...

I get obsessive mindset and think about carbs and calories when I don't eat enough and I'm hungry all the time. I realized recently that I need to eat more so I eat mostly healthy foods - fruits, vegetables and whole grains, no sugar or wheat. I also realized that I need to eat at least 6 oz of meat 3 times a day (not a low carb diet).
So far I have been losing steadily but my happiness and life quality have dramatically improved.

Hayley

Anonymous said...

I agree that obsessive is a mindset. But I think that until one reaches a point where one is following one's plan with ease (so when you're in cruise-control, doing the same thing day in and day out), one has to be vigilant and a bit obsessive. And if you are following your plan, then it takes a bit of the obsession out of it - you have your plan and you just follow it. But until you reach that point I think it takes a lot of focus to get tehre.
~carol

Beth said...

No need to be obsessive. Just eat chicken, fish, beef, fresh fruits & veg. Don't eat things that are full of sugar or are processed. No thinking required.

Anonymous said...

To the person that said "40 pounds wouldn't make that big a difference"-LOL are you kidding me? 40 pounds made a difference of 5 pants sizes for me, and I'm 5'10". on someone shorter, it shows even more. Let's be real, here. Lets compare, say, 140 pounds to 180. The difference is huge.

Ellesar said...

I feel a bit self concious writing this, as I have gained only 6lbs back recently, but then I have less to lose (6lbs of a 34lb loss), so proportionally it is closer to what you are going through.
I really do know how you feel (actual amount not really relevant) because it is in the wrong direction. Any amount in the wrong direction is dispiriting and means that we have to try that much harder, for that much longer.
But... that is NEVER a reason for giving up is it? Appreciate the amount you HAVE lost, know that you CAN lose again. We can not always be on that wagon - these are long established habits - VERY VERY hard to break. It takes a long time.

Anonymous said...

40 lbs is a big difference in someone, I saw family members at a funeral and they didn't even recognize me due to being heavier than the last time they saw me and they are my family. So it can be a big difference to someone.

Sunnygirl said...

Wow can I ever relate to "Unrecognizable". I am so glad you shared your views on this. Thanks! I am exactly 40 pounds heavier than I was a few years ago and after running my first 10 k triathlon relay race with my family on August 12. I was in shock when the pictures got posted all over facebook by my daughter in-law. I thought who is that person who looks so much larger? I was also embarrassed because I felt like here I am again "heavy". After losing 90 pounds 10 years ago and holding the weight off for years, to see how I have let myself go during these last three years felt really awful. The race was great and I felt really accomplished once I crossed the finish line. It was a great success for me but to see all those fat pictures really made me feel like crap. I guess I have been sort of living in denial. Thinking I look good when I don't. I kept on trying to tell myself I just take heavy pictures but then I had to ask myself why everyone else looks normal. It was a hard reality to swallow but in some ways as harsh as it was on my self image it made me wake up to the truth. If I allow the truth to sink in it will set me free to get out of denial and get back to a healthy weight for me. Cheers to both of us getting back to a healthy and happy weight! And thanks again. I really enjoyed your blog!

Sunnygirl