Sunday, July 16, 2017

Who's That in the Mirror? Update Photo

The other day, I took my daughter shopping to pick out some clothes.  It was going great and I was feeling quite good about myself and healthy because I am back on track with the eating and exercise. When she went into the dressing room to try on a few things, I sat down in a chair close by. While I waited, another girl came out of a different dressing room and left the door open. The entire inside of that door was a giant mirror... and the way it was left open, it was angled directly at me. And WHOA. Who is that person in the mirror???

I am not generally inclined to be critical of my body, and I know I am morbidly obese again and look really fat when I see myself standing in the full length mirror in my bedroom. But this was too much!! I cannot even state how I looked sitting there with my fat all bunched up around my middle, hips flowing to the sides of the chair, stomach on my lap. What is it about sitting that makes everything look SO much worse? When I stand all the fat is stretched out over my body and yeah it looks bad but still like a human. I still have a waist and obviously feminine shape and I don't look for TOO long and I am sure my brain edits the image a little bit so I think I look fat, but okay. But that image of me sitting in the chair looked like a huge formless blob with a head and legs. I was so shocked it took me a moment to recognize myself. And then I thought, oh my god, this has to stop! I was so astounded that after a moment letting it register, I grabbed my phone. I wanted to snap a picture of that reflection and keep it as motivation NOT to eat junk, and to exercise and eat better and get back into human shape. But just then, someone went into the dressing room and shut the door. And I was left sitting there with that image of myself stuck in my head, and a sense of shame and embarrassment hanging over me.

I had to erase that and let it go. I had to because if I think of myself that way, and dwell on how heartsick I am over letting myself regain over 80 pounds and becoming *this* again, I would probably drown my sorrows in ice cream and chips and waste my life buried in self-loathing. And there's no point in that. I need to focus on getting better again, on fixing this for the last time, on getting it done and then learning how to maintain. I have already been doing that this week... eating better, tracking calories and carbs and protein, getting on the bike again. So I am proud of myself for that.

But I did come home and take a photo of me sitting on my bed. I want to remember this light bulb moment that motivated me to turn things around before it's too late.

July 2017: 253 pounds


Anonymous said...

Just letting you know I'm RIGHT THERE with you weighing a whopping 260lbs! It's getting bad. I've got to do something.

M. Muraski said...

Bless your heart
This is a new beginning
You can do this.

Diana said...

Dear Lyn, I know that feeling all too well. I was reading my old blog the other day and found a post almost exactly like this one, written in 2009. I didn't even remember writing it. It was all about a picture of me that someone at work took, and I was in a sitting position. I was appalled at how bad I looked. I went into great detail about my gross arms, legs, and of course, my giant belly. It broke my heart to read it, and also odd because I really didn't remember writing it. But there it was, on my blog, written by me. I was so mean to myself, and I wrote over and over about how hideous I looked. It was sad, but in reality, it was somewhat true. Especially by today's societal standards, I was a gross blob of shapeless fat. The really funny thing, at the end of my post I had my weight. 152 pounds, and I stated that I need to get the last 20 pounds off so I'd look human. Oh my. My goal now is 155 pounds. Funny how perspectives change as the years pass. Now it's more about how I feel, and not that I'll have some thin, model-type body, because Lord knows that's never going to happen!

I know you're pretty good at not putting yourself down, something I've always admired about you. But it's actual a good thing that you saw yourself from a different view. I think it'll be great incentive for your weight loss journey. And a great before picture!

Susan R said...

Hi Lyn, I just wanted to say that I think it took some courage for you to post that photo. I wish you would post your face, in my mind you are very pretty.
I am so happy that you are back to posting on a regular basis. I don't comment on your menus because that is not my area of expertise. However, I am cheering on your biking!
Hugs to you-Susan

PamL said...

That's great, Lyn. Sometimes it does take actually "seeing" what we would rather avoid to motivate us. I remember having one (or several) of those moments, and my mom did, too, years ago. She then lost 120 pounds. Life is a journey. Keep on trying- you are doing great just getting back on track!

Rose Sperlonga said...

I personally think its wonderful that you posted that pic of yourself sitting on your bed. Lets face it, as we gain weight we hide ourselves and its very easy for all of us to sit and type things out and say what we are or not. I commend you for showing the "real" Lyn ... untouched, not posed. Guts lady! You got them!


Dee said...

I feel your pain Lyn, I've been there dozens of times myself as I've yo-yo'd through the last fifty years. Deep breath, and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I'm rooting for ya.
Fiond regards

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you regained but there is a purpose to it. God does not allow suffering without purpose in His believers. Perhaps if you had not regained, you would be suffering from pride and lack of humility, haughtily shaming others who are still having trouble losing weight or keeping it off. Praise God you know the depths of sorrow, for then indeed will the victory be sweet. You will always have empathy for others in your shoes. What a great gift from our Lord!

MaryFran said...

Good for you for recognizing the destructive path that you could have gone (eating your sorrows instead of working to change them). You can do it!!!

Anonymous said...

Part 1:

Hi, Lyn. My name is Kat and I have followed your blog for some time. It's very brave of you to make this post, and I dearly hope that this is your last "Day 1" post and the beginning of a healthy new relationship with the scale. With that said, have you noticed your pattern? Over years of reading your blog, I have noticed it, and it goes something like this:

Something causes you to begin worrying about your weight.
You make a new plan--you've tried many over the years--and you follow it for anywhere from a week to a month. These plans usually require a great deal of fussing, cutting out food groups, etc. Then, something happens:

1. You're not losing fast enough, OR
2. Some stressor pops up in your life--someone gets sick, etc., OR
3. Some combination of the above

You declare that the plan isn't working and start over with a new plan. All this has lead to you being 250 lbs. today. Please don't see this as an attack. I'm just pointing out a pattern that I hope you can see, and I'd like to give you my suggestion on how to stop this pattern.

I know, I know! Everyone gives you a million new plans. One person says A, one person says Z. Someone says cut out all bad foods completely, another says reduce carbs, and another says to count calories. How can you ever know who to trust? There's no question that it is frustrating and difficult to sift through comments for truth. With that said, here is a truth:

Calories are what matter for fat loss. Before I get a dog pile on this comment, notice that I did not say that only calories matter for satiety. I did not say that calories are what matter to fitness. I did not say that calories are what matter to food allergies. However, if you eat fewer calories than your body expends, you will lose weight. If you eat more calories than your body expends, you will gain weight. If you do not believe this, or if you think that there is something that affects this equation for you, I beg you to read every sentence at this link (and just try to ignore the cursing):

Kat said...

Part 2:

One important rule to remember about weight loss is that exercise is for FITNESS, and food is for FATNESS. The two should never be conflated, and you cannot outrun your fork. There are many studies that show this to be the case, although this is not true for maintenance. Since you have some time before you need to worry about maintenance, it would be best to worry about the aspect that causes fatness. If you want to focus on losing weight, don't worry about exercise for now. Instead, get your calories under control.

I suspect that people will argue with me on this, but it's the truth. However healthy exercise might make you, it does not make you thin. Only balancing your calories to the right level for your body will do this. Generally, now is the point that a well-meaning poster will tell you what you need to do to work on your calorie intake and what plan to start next! However, I believe that deciding how to lower your calories is an intensely personal decision, and different strokes work for different folks. Based on reading your blog, it seems that you *might* be able to maintain a little better if you learn to control your calories while still being able to eat the junky food that you love occasionally. I could be incorrect about this. I am the type who has to have some chocolate every day. If I do not, then binging is guaranteed to happen in a couple of weeks. I have found the treat that fits into my calories for the day and that, more importantly, makes me feel good and like I'm not punishing myself. This works for me. Perhaps you are one of the people who must practice abstinence of any foods that trigger binges. However, I tend to believe that practice makes perfect, and the more time you spend counting your calories and learning the correct portion sizes (yes, using a scale), the better chance you have of understanding your body's energy needs for long-term maintenance.

About that. You have a tool that many people would love to have! You know your BMR and TDEE, which you had tested several years ago. If I remember correctly, your BMR is somewhere in the 1400s, and your TDEE is somewhere in the 1800s. For a sedentary woman who isn't that tall, this is reasonable. I am 5'1" woman in my 30s, and my BMR is in the 1100s, and my TDEE is 1600-1800 IF I get in 10,000 steps a day. I have been maintaining a 50 lb. loss for several years now. If I don't get in my steps, my TDEE is closer to 1400. Such is life. If you are successful, you may end up somewhere in this ball park as well.

Going back to the main point, this means that if you stick to around 1200 calories a day, that will give you a deficit of around 600 calories a day--enough to lose a pound a week IF you count accurately. How you decide to employ your calories is up to you, of course, but I highly recommend the community over at r/Loseit. If you haven't already, please read their entire compendium, FAQ and quick-start guide. They are just a community of fellow weight losers, and there is no agenda. People lose on there using many different strategies. I really think you might find the quick start guide helpful. If you have any questions about it, I know you'd be welcome in the community. People there are very kind, but they're also very good at problem-solving when people have trouble losing weight.

Quick Start Guide (with some other helpful links on the side bar or at the top of the page):

This is your day 1, Lyn. I'm rooting for you!

Kat said...

PS. Sorry about the anonymoose-ity on the first comment. I don't know how that happened. I'm sure you can guess that it was me! Also, the r/loseit compendium has a helpful resource about binge eating. I have used a few of the tips with some success. Best of luck!

FrenchyMcFrenchcake said...

Agree mostly w Kat except! Weight bearing exercise and increased muscle mass allows you to eat a bit more while still losing and that alone is worth it in my opinion

FrenchyMcFrenchcake said...

It's pretty simple but hard to do consistently if you have an food issues or a disordered past or present with food. If you didn't have that you would not be where you are

Kat said...

I agree with you, and I do bodyweight exercises regularly for extra calories! My worry, though, is that exercise causes a Halo effect (and can increase appetite), and that can make people eat more than they've burned. That's why I recommended that Lyn get her calorie intake under control before worrying about exercise. It's a worthy goal, but sometimes it's better to try to eat an elephant one bite at a time! ��

Amy said...

Oh I know, sitting compresses everything! Try being 5 ft tall and the heavy stuff is concentrated in the middle! It's one of the reasons I love skirts, they hide things a little better for me.
I have been trying to overcome my compulsive eating with self awareness and self-love. One of the hardest parts of that is learning to accept and love all the parts of me, not just the ones I think look acceptable by someone else's standards. That extra stuff on the outside is the protective barrier from that time my mother said a damaging word, or the time a passerby said a nasty thing, or the the times when my parents hurt my feelings or ignored me, or the years I couldn't find love because I was so sure I was unworthy of it. It is there because we thought we needed it to protect us. If we can't find a way to love it, maybe we can accept it as is for the time being. Yes, we want to be healthy and at peace, but being at war with our reflection is not self-care, at least where the mind is concerned. For me, I have to tell myself I am not allowed to scold myself or judge myself using my mother's point of view or her voice in my head. Not allowed. In that manner I am finally standing up for myself. That is my starting place with self-love. It has made my life a little happier, which makes it easier to do other good things for myself.
You are on a good path. You have personal growth every time you make an effort, no matter how or when it changes again.

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder if some of this pictures horror factor is the unflattering clothing choices? There are so many cute and flattering plus size options out there... maybe a shopping trip for you is in order. When I was heavy I stayed away from jeans and TShirts too structured and pinchy. You would look a lot better wearing something more suited to your shape

FrenchyMcFrenchcake said...

Maybe ...but doing a few planks or squats and some sit ups don't really make one hungry... she's not going to cross fit or anything

TheAgonyOfBeingFat said...

I really don't think that picture is so bad, but I completely understand self loathing and disappointment. We're all motivated by something, and if this helps kick you in the right direction, then let it!