Friday, December 08, 2006

The weekly weigh in, week 12

When you start Weight Watchers, you and your counselor set a target goal weight. For a woman like me who has a lot to lose, that's not necessarily easy. There is a recommended weight range for different heights, but where you want to settle within that range will depend on several factors, including body frame, general shape, preferred activity level, personal comfort zone, etc. I'm so far away from that recommended range, and I'm so much older now than the last time I was anywhere near that range that we couldn't really pick a goal weight. It's also a good idea in any project to pick a realistic, achievable goal. Setting the standard too far away from where you are makes the goal feel unreachable and can actually encourage a person to just give up. After all, why should anyone attempt the impossible? It's better to work it in steps, and my initial goal was to drop 10% of my body weight.

I haven't revealed what my beginning weight was simply because it was too embarassing. I've never made any bones in writing about being really fat, but that means so many different things to different people. There are some women who say they're fat when they wear a size 5. There are others who know that they're not fat even though the number on the scale is larger than what is considered normal. I'm still not going to say what my initial weight was, but tonight when I weighed in, I had noticeably passed my initial goal. This last week, I lost 7.4 pounds, bringing my weight loss to 34.6 pounds.


I'm rightfully proud
of what
I have
accomplished.



It's so complicated to explain how I could let myself get this fat. There have been many factors. Some of the easy ones to explain include a back injury from a car wreck that put me in physical therapy for nearly a year and eliminated most fat burning physical activity from the realm of possibility for me. That caused nearly a 75 pound weight gain that year. I've had to take several rounds of prednisone over the years, and that will make even a tiny person inflate like a balloon. Yo-yo dieting has been a huge part of it, and that is still a large and significant fear for me. There are very few commercial diets that I haven't tried. I've lost weight on all of them and gained back more than I lost when they fell by the wayside.

Each gain made my desire to be at weight considered normal and acceptable feel more and more hopeless. I was so large that mentally I got to a point where it almost didn't matter. I was just some fat freak, and it felt like no matter what I did, I would always be that way. I can still remember when this idea started nesting in my brain. I was still a teenager and realistically, I was about twenty-five pounds overweight. I thought I was grotesque, and the brutality of other teenage girls reinforced that mindset. When I see pictures of my teen self now, I wonder how I thought I was anything other than a serious babe. I'm talking curves to kill for and defined muscles in my arms, shoulders and legs. This was nothing that would work on a runway, but it certainly explained why I kept getting hit on by older guys who I thought were just setting me up to be the butt of a joke.

I felt I either had to accept a life of deprivation and having to behave so differently about and around food from normal people that I would be a freak regardless of what I weighed or I could just be the best damn fat lady you could find. I chose the latter, and despite the shortcomings in the thought process, it was the saner of what felt like my two choices. I accepted my fat, was as physically active as I could be, dressed as well as I could which is even harder when you're large, and chose to live. I didn't let my weight restrict my social choices. I'd go to pool parties and wear swimming suits. I'd wear shorts of an appropriate length in the summer. I've known on my saner days that regardless of my weight, I was an attractive woman. On the bad days, I was still a freak who knew how to pass as normal.

Tonight, I no longer feel like a freak. When my weight passed a significant number, part of me no longer felt even really human. I had become some unknown other thing. I'm almost below that number again, but I feel very human now. Lisa has commented about how Weight Watchers helps you get back in control of something that feels uncontrollable, and she's right. I am in control now, and it feels damn good. I know from my history that I can't take this for granted. I know that I can only do this diet well if I do it one meal at a time. Even one day at a time is too much to think about, but I'm very human. I'm not a freak, and I am rightfully proud of what I've accomplished.

weight loss, diets, Weight Watchers

4 Comments:

Anonymous Laura said...

Oh Cyn, I know *exactly* what you are talking about when you say you no longer felt human at a certain weight... I have terrible body image problems anyway, but once I went over that "magic" number my body image went from 'bad' to 'self-loathing'.

December 08, 2006 5:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, my husband weighed 277 a year ago. Today he weighs 213, and looks really great. But he sees himself as "a fat man". I do believe if he wasted away to skin and bones, he would still see himself as fat.

December 08, 2006 7:18 AM  
Blogger alphawoman said...

Congrats to you. I know how tough it can be.

December 08, 2006 12:49 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

You are doing great Cyn. And in the midst of the holidays, too! Yu are really giving yourself a Christmas gift here. I am not a fat bigot, most of my family has been or is fat..it's just a fact of life for me. But I have also seen that the older one gets, the less one's body can handleexcess weight. People I know who where "healthy" fat people in their twenties and thirties are now starting to have major problems, from blood pressure to diabetes to joint and muscle problems. So, at some point, the decision to "take control" of your weight becomes about survival, or quality of life, and the cosmetic benefits are merely another perk of the process.

December 08, 2006 8:13 PM  

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