I am still heavier than I ever have been in my life (well before I had my children and hit my obese period- which is kind of like an artisits blue period). I have never been really thin but for most of my adulthood (again until I had children at 30) I was around 185-200 pounds; but I was comfortable in that skin and fairly healthy- but kind of , okay denial setting in-i was really out of shape.
But since I have lost this weight I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders-not a metaphorical weight- but real weight, and yesterday while looking at the 20 pound bag of dog food I bought I thought…”Holy Shooting Stardust-I have lost 4 of those bags-no wonder why I feel so good and why I felt so bad.” At that moment a new feeling of helath and exuberance washed over me. I was feeling really good about myself. I was the weight loss queen! I rocked-I was so skinny-I am the Medifast goddness of weight loss I was, um, I was AWESOME! uh hem….. ( just want to note here that all that sounded so much more like confidence when I was thinking it in my head but once I see it written out it sounds a little conceited if not downright awful. I hardly ever feel good about myself, I have this problem with guilt-maybe my catholic upbringing-but I equivicated feelings of self-worth with the sin of pride. But I guess thats what confession is for.)
Anyway, it got worse as the day went on.
As my evening progressed I had two additional compliments. The first came from a lady I have know for about 6 years. Our kids have played all types of sports together off and on, her husband has coached my boys. I walked by her and she never said a word to me and I wasn’t sure what I had done when all of a sudden she blurted out my name. “Holy cow, I can’t believe thats you, I didn’t recognize you, I forgot you had gotten so skinny.” Now, I need to remind you that even after this weightloss I am still 275 pounds- which is far from skinny, but this friend who used to hit around 200 herself is now closer to that same mark so we can say things like that to each other. If she had been skinnier than me-I mean really tiny, I might have taken offence to it or taken it as teasing, but she’s got my back- and she deals with food issues just like me. At that moment in time, even knowing all this I focused on the words skinny! Yumm-o I like that word and the more I heard it the more I thought I really was, I could actually feel how skinny I was or felt- two emotions i must have a hard time delineating against. Even though I know logically I am now thinner, but not near skinny, it felt good to imagine skinny rather than thinnner in my head.
Do I have an awful sense of body image or what? You know how people with anorexia have images of themselves as being fat, I have the opposite of that. I am not saying this jokingly or offensively, I really do have a warped idea of what my body looks like. I know this especailly well now for two reasons- the reason I am trying to tell about now, but also because I have looked back at the few pictures I have of me that I refused to look at for a long time and I am shocked at how large I was. And its weird because I felt bad but I guess I still felt well enough to be in denial of my true size. I knew I was fat but in my eyes I wasn’t as fat as I was. Does that even make sense?
As I am losing weight I have been slowly accepting and dealing with this. Not really well, but its getting better, just ask my shrink!
Anyway, at the park in the rain I considered it was maybe because of my shorter hair. (I have recently cut and colored my hair-weight loss starts the ball rolling for me on a lot of needed self care and pampering that has been neglected in the recent past). “YEESSS” I thought in my head- I am sooo skinny now!” Okay skinny is a strong word and I knew I wasn’t skinny in the sense the webster uses the word, but thats how I felt at that momet. For the second time that day I was feeling on cloud nine.
A little later on in the eveinging the kids wanted to eat at a Mexican restaurant we used to frequent once a month or better. We live in a small town of about 5000 or so – so when you own a restaurant you may not know everyone’s name but you know their faces and what they order. I had not been since starting medifast in January. (As I get more and more familiar and comfortable with the progam I can do so much more. – I know at Mexican restaurants all you need to do is ask for plain shrimp on a bed of lettuce with raw peppers and salsa on the side). The owners wife had spoken to me a couple other times-one of them being when one of my boys was creating havoc in the mens restroom doing who-knows what to the stall walls while I was drinking a grande cerveza. I guess I knew whe knew of me but never thought she KNEW of me-you know? (probably not…) Anyway.. when I walked in she was there and the second I sat down she stopped over to compliment me and tell me how good I looked. It sure motivated me to stay on plan when I was there (not that I would have chected anyway!) And on top of the last compliment and the dog food bag incident I was flying high now on a magic carpet of pride! Now I felt really skinny!
When I returned home I took the advice of one of my friends I had seen earlier that day and decided to add a new progression picture. I only take pics of myself when I feel good, and I have been in a little weight loss rutt – it feels like anyway- the reality is my weightloss is slowing down, but I am still shrinking. Its hard to look at the numbers on the scale and know I am building muscle which adds to my weight. But I knew by the fit of my clothes I am making progress and I need to slow down due to excess skin anyway. I didn’t take a picture when I started but I did when I was at 22 pounds. Then again at 40 and at 62. So I was due for a new picture soon and today was the day my friend! I was so sure I was going to be skinny looking! So I changed into the shirt I have worn for the last three pics, now so big it borders on ridiculous, but at one time was too small to wear in public, and had my husband took my front and side shots in the same position as I had done before. I was going to look so good!
And thanks to the magic of digital cameras I was forced to face the fact that even though I had lost 4 bags of dog food – I have to lose 4 more (or 6 more to be skinny-which is unrealistic for me, but still possible) All this before I can be what I actually see in my head.
I looked at that picture in disbelief..I wasn’t skinny afterall. I was still 275 pounds. Thats still heavy, still obese, still overweight and still a long way from skinny.
and I mean a big “but”
(not mine by the way) haha-still room for fat jokes-
I was an entire 4 bags of dog food thinner.
4 freaking bags. OMG- I had been huge! I know how good I feel now and cannot imagine what 4 more bags will feel like!
And then I thought about the power of suggestion and how influencing compliments and support are.
If I had grown up in a world where all women are beautiful and told they are so~all the time, no matter what they look like-I wonder if I would be fighting this battle of the bulge at all? I know for sure now that I am going to start spreading more compliments to the high school girls I work with.
The power of suggestion is a mighty thing.
But then again, so is a digital camera.
I’m going to go do my elliptical now!