Thursday, September 6, 2018

How I See It: Am I Thin or Am I Fat?

The other day when I was trying on clothes in different sizes in a store, I kept having this experience where I'd pick out a size of clothing that matched the sizes I currently wear, hold it up, think "wow this is WAY too small, it must be cut smaller or a junior's or something", then grab something in a larger size and take both back to the dressing room and then be shocked that not only does the smaller size fit, but in some cases it was too small! Or at home, I'd pull out some jeans or a shirt to wear and think, "whose clothes are these? Did I get my kids' clothes mixed up in here because surely this would NEVER fit me!"And yet they do! That is body dysmorphia at its finest, I think, and yet I've been through this before. When I wrote I Am A Hologram back in 2010, I was going through periods where I felt almost thin and svelte, but then moments later saw an enormous fatty in the mirror... and when I wrote that, I weighed 230 pounds! That's a weight that would horrify me to see on the scale today, but at the time, it seemed really great! It's all relative, I know. When you're coming from 278, 230 looks and feels amazing. Coming from 180? Not so much.

When I got to the 180's the first time back in 2010, I remember feeling *so* thin. I was getting constant compliments and comments about how great I looked. And when I posted my 100 Pounds Gone photos at 178, I saw in those pictures a normal-sized, healthy woman. Heck, I *still* see that when I look at those photos. But what I don't talk about as much is how at 175-178 pounds, I actually saw myself as *too* thin. It was so out of range of my normal of the prior decade that I did not feel like "me" anymore. I had somehow lost my identity when I lost that weight. And it was very anxiety-provoking to look in the mirror and see this thin stranger. I saw a "skinny" person in clothing sizes that I just could not get my head around. I saw bones and skin and that had all kinds of negative connotations for me. Oh sure, I did occasionally look in the mirror and see Morbidly Obese. Like, flashes of the past were still there in my eyes when I looked at myself. But the difference now is, I think I am finally seeing my *actual body* and not a thin one or an obese one. Just reality.

This is a new thing for me, at least in that this vision of myself has lasted for at least a month or two and has stayed pretty consistent. I finally can actually see and feel my body *as it is right now,* not thin and not obese. I just see it without all the warped dysmorphia stuff getting in the way. Sure, I do still think "hey I look thin in these clothes" or "wow I am looking awfully large today," but even in that I still can see and understand reality. I can see my body objectively. And where that has taken me is interesting.

Even after I regained most of the weight I'd lost back then, I always had it in my head that if I could ever get back to 175 pounds, that would be *so thin.* That it was maybe even TOO thin for me and I should shoot for just being under 200 and staying there. Now that I am here in the 180's again, I see truly see for the first time that yes, I am still overweight. Yes, I am still carrying too much fat... on my legs, my arms, my hips. I can literally see that and feel it and for that reason I am going to work on losing another 20 or so pounds. I can tell that the amount of fat still on me is not healthy for me. I think I *look* fine, and I function pretty well, too! The weight doesn't seem to be getting in the way of anything anymore. But I can see that a bit more needs to go.

I'll work on taking ten off (which will be a new low!) and see how I feel there. This month I am adding biking back into my daily routine as well as walking, and will start going on a regular basis for massages. I've heard great things about the health benefits of massage, and I figure it might even help with the weight loss, skin shrinking, and body confidence! I'll write more about that later. Right now I am going to finish my morning coffee (to which I added some cinnamon, molasses, and cream for that "gingerbread latte" effect) and get some things done!


Deniz said...

Ah Lyn it's so good to hear that you are doing so well.
I know what you mean about not being quite sure whether you class as skinny or podgy. For me it varies o a daily basis. I need to shed the lbs I've put in, but it is still a world away from where I started. Photos are the only way I see an accurate picture. Wonder if that will ever really change.
The 'functioning pretty well' is the most important thing though. Much more valuable than appearance, however nice to see smaller sizes.
You are doing great, and inspiring me like you always have.
Hugs from the UK.

Anonymous said...

At your size, ten off will make a much bigger difference in how you feel. They say if you lose 5% of your bodyweight, you gain all sorts of benefits. For the record, I say you look a regular size in your pictures. Kudos!

S said...

Yes. Neither thin nor fat. Just on the larger side of normal. It's sad we live in such an obese society. Nice job!

Bec Z said...

Girl, let me tell you....I did not get massages for years because I was body conscious....I finally decided to get regular massages. I tried several until I found the right person and I LOVE it! I go once a month. I am "obese", and working to get to "overweight" and have let go of the embarrassment. You will love it. Enjoy!

Lyn said...


Thanks! I know it is a common issue and it takes so long for our minds to catch up with our bodies when we lose or gain a lot. It is pretty cool when they finally match up!

Anon and S~

thanks for the nice comments :)

Bec Z~

I did go one time a couple years ago and I hated it. The woman was acting distracted but also kept talking to me the whole time about stupid topics so I could not relax. This time I am going somewhere different that has 4 massage therapists and I will try each one til I find one I like.

MaryFran said...

It is so hard to see honestly exactly what we are. I always seem to see myself as the opposite of what I currently am (if I’m overweight I see myself as thinner...if I’m thinner I still see the’s crazy!!)

Vickie said...

Glad things are going well for you. My experience, it takes a full year (or more) to settle into final weight (psychologically). To be able to judge sizes that will fit. To recognize self in mirror. To see actual self.

Lyn said...


Me too! that has always been my experience! This is the first time I have felt like I am seeing the reality almost ALL the time. I still have the occasional "wow I am really big" moment but not very often at all. Feels good :)


It does take awhile. I have been in the 180's for about 3 months now. I don't think I am at my final weight, so my "seeing" of myself as is may change as I lose. But it does feel pretty cool to be within 20-ish pounds of what is probably my forever goal.

Anonymous said...

How I see it --

- healthy or unhealthy
- fit or unfit
- sane in insane
- what your children are learning from you about weight and worth
- is it sustainable

Lots of way to consider what you are doing, what you are achieving and why you're doing this.

Anonymous said...

I thought you were going to start biking again last month?