Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Battle Beyond the Pounds

Oops!  I was supposed to publish this last night!

There's no way to really prepare yourself for what comes after you've lost a massive amount of weight.   I was aware that there would be mental barriers to climb, but I did not realize exactly how hard it would be to climb them.  I think all women, hell maybe even most men (?), have fat days.  But my fat days drive me nuts, when I feel fat, I get so depressed.  It's almost like I feel as if all the hard work I've done was for nothing.  It makes absolutely no sense.  How do you go from a size 22/24 to a size 4 and still feel unworthy, unaccomplished, unacceptable?  Today I wore a pair of pants that are a size 12, held up by a belt;  today I felt fat.  I think it would be safe to say that there is a correlation between wearing pants that were several sizes too big and how I felt. I really need to clean out my closet.  Figuratively and literally.  I need work on mentally accepting that I'm not fat anymore, that I'm healthy and pretty and then maybe I'll be happier.  There are times that I see myself in the mirror and think "Dear, Lord, people are freaking crazy I still have plenty of weight to lose!"  and other times I feel skinny not just normal, but just downright skinny.  Realistically I'm neither, I'm just normal and healthy and that's a good place to be.  That doesn't mean that I can't strive to lose a few more pounds, it just means that I shouldn't beat myself up about it. 

There are times that I will be walking down a hallway and someone will be walking down the other side and I'll smash myself against the wall to keep from running into the person.  Other times I'll "squeeze" by a person (ie at a bar or restaurant) when I had plenty of room just to walk around them.  Sometimes I sit down on a chair extremely gingerly just to make sure it doesn't collapse under my "fat" ass.  There are times that people look at me and I wonder exactly how fat I look or if I'm at a restaurant if they are judging what I'm eating.  A lot of times I find myself eating in shame.  I log my food pretty much everyday, I'm conscious of the amount of calories I consume, I make allowances for how much I've worked out for the day and yet there are still times that I feel shame for eating some things.  It is an unconscious reaction, something I battle with every time I want to indulge in something special.  "Do I really deserve this?  Have I worked out enough to account for this?  Have I lost enough weight to justify splurging?"  The answer?  Damn fucking right I have.  I have busted my ass for 1 year and 9 months, working out at the very least five times a week (most of the time six), I have traveled one of the most difficult journeys I've encountered, I've obtained numerous injuries, I've sacrificed time and more energy than I thought were possible to expend , it has taken more dedication from me than I even realized I possess.  I have earned every fucking bite of that cookie.  And I have GOT to stop feeling guilty for things like that. 

For this reason I have become extremely irate at society.  How dare society as a whole make people feel like that?  People that are overweight are sometimes treated as if they have an STD.  Like they have a disease and it's their fault they have it.  This case may be right in a lot of situations, but you don't know what they've encountered or what kind of hell they may have suffered.  Maybe being fat is reassuring to them because of past trauma.  Maybe it's genetic, or maybe it's because that's all they've ever known as a child.  Maybe that fat person sitting at the table across from you has lost 50 pounds and is enjoying a cheeseburger and fries on his/her free meal.  Maybe that's the one meal a week that he or she is allowed to eat whatever s/he wants and you've ruined it by staring at him or her as if s/he were an abomination.  I'm guilty of it, too.  There are times that I look at an overweight person that is consuming a massive amount of unhealthy food and I think to myself "Jeez, no wonder s/he is fat."  But then I remind myself that I must have looked exactly like that, too, and I ate myself out of an emotional abyss many a times and who the hell am I of all people to judge?  Most of the time, when I see an overweight person I just feel sad, because I know what it's like and it's not a very happy place.  And you don't realize how unhappy you were until you lose the weight.  Not just that, but I fear for their health.  I didn't realize exactly how complacent I was about being unhealthy until I got healthy and realized that the way I felt before was probably a huge warning sign from my body that I'd best get my rear in gear before it shut down on me.

I could go on and on about the mental baggage I carry, but I digress (for now anyway!).  Tonight I had a fantastic workout!  I busted tail in Body Pump:  upped  my weight on squats and on back and decided that I'll up shoulders and lunges on Thursday.  I know I'll be sore tomorrow!  I was sweating so much that when I finished there were drops of sweat on the ground underneath me!  Love that feeling!  Then I had SO much fun in Zumba; I really pushed myself and worked up a very nice sweat.  Speaking of sweat, random thought: while I love sweating because I know I've worked hard, I hate sweating so much that it looks like you peed your pants.  That is embarrassing!

What I look like after a good workout.
Our Zumba class is set up like a dance studio; hardwood floors that are waxed periodically and mirrors lining half of the room.  For the longest time I avoided the mirrors like the plague.  I would strategically plan my spot in a location where I would not have to look at myself at all, somewhere in the back corner where I couldn't see me, and no one else could either, I did this for Body Pump, too.  I just couldn't stand to see myself.  The past couple months I've slowly been moving to a more visible spot.  First to the front, while still being out of view from the mirrors.  Then closer to the center so that I could only see myself when we moved to the right, but I would quickly be out of view again.  The past couple of months I've gotten gutsier and have found myself staring back at me from the mirrors.  Tonight I somehow ended up front and center and spent a good portion of the class watching myself and I didn't feel revolted or ashamed, not once.  In fact, I looked tiny!  I enjoyed watching myself so I could work on what moves I thought could use improvement, and honestly I was a little bit fascinated.  Was this tiny person me?  Could I really move like that?  Wow.  I think I've made a breakthrough.  It still won't all be champagne and roses from here on out, but maybe I've created a memory I can revisit when I start thinking poorly of myself.  So this is what I decided upon as a temporary resolution to my "fat days" and the negativity that can sometimes overwhelm me.  First of all, this weekend I'm going to take out anything larger than a size 6 and give it to Goodwill or to my sister for goal clothes.  Then I'm going to go shopping and get some new clothes.  My dad gave me a gift card to go shopping for my birthday and I'm super excited to use it, but I think I'll probably end up one more size down before I'm done so I think I'll go to the thrift store to get a few new pairs of pants for now.  I'll get tops, dresses and shoes new, because those probably won't be too big for me if I do go down a size.  Next, I'm going to write a list of all the things that have changed since losing weight, I feel that will help me remember that:  I am not fat.  That brings me to my last tool.  I am not fat.  I'll keep this phrase in my head and repeat it until I believe it.  And when I don't believe it, I'll repeat it even more.  And because I have no good pictures to leave you with, here is me not being fat with my baby, Bella.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE THIS POST!! I've had the same feelings God-only-knows-how-many times. I hope someday to be rid of the fat girl thoughts, but it doesn't seem to be getting any easier so far.