67% of My Size
I've needed a boost. I started trying to make changes in my life and health four years ago. I found myself weighing close to 400 pounds. I hurt with every step I took, but after nearly an entire lifetime of diets, I'd practically given up. I had resigned myself to being an uninsurable, socially unacceptable object of ridicule and probably dying young. To rehash some previously blogged history, I decided to just start trying to live in a healthier way. In two years, I'd lost close to fifty pounds. In the elasticized world of plus sizes, that meant one pants size and a difference in my appearance that felt minuscule. For fifty pounds.
When my blood pressure skyrocketed after a lifetime of being in a normal range, I decided to up the effort. My doctor recommended that I join Weight Watchers. I've been doing this for two years now, and have dropped another 80 pounds. That brings my weight loss now to 124 pounds. I am proud of that, and I've worked very hard to accomplish that. I've now dropped seven clothing sizes and don't hurt when I walk...unless I really push myself harder than I need to go yet. I no longer sleep with a CPAP for sleep apnea and my blood pressure is normal with the help of medication.
I've got good solid evidence that this is working for me. That alone is motivation. However, I'm still 82 pounds over the top of my recommended weight range. I weigh one pound more now than I did in January. I gained seventeen pounds between January and May and lost 16 of them since June. Basically this year has been one big weight loss plateau. Honestly, my body is comfortable here, and my appearance has changed dramatically. I enjoy having a hint of a waistline but know the hard truths about how fat fills in wrinkles and age affects upper arms.
So, what's the big fat deal? Having lost this much weight, I ought to feel fantastic about myself, my discipline and stick-to-it-tiveness. I ought to feel like a role model, and instead, blah. It's not enough that I've lost a whole lot of weight. I've actually lost more than my daughter's entire weight. It's like a whole person has left my body. I've done it slowly -- the healthy, sane and sensible way to lose weight --and that makes it feel like no big deal. Plus, I'm still fat -- really fat. I no longer feel like a grotesque caricature of a woman. Saying I'm an attractive woman isn't just an effort to build up my self-esteem. It's the truth. It's been three years since a person threw a milkshake at me from a moving car while yelling an insult about my size, but sales girls still give me that look and say, "We don't carry anything to fit you." And I still have skinny acquaintances who think I lie about stuff like that.
My mind keeps circling around instant gratification. Is this truly significant weight loss and life change less meaningful because it's taking time? I feel like I should already be at my goal weight, and honestly feel like somewhat of a failure because I'm not. I know my lack of satisfaction is linked to more than my weight. Much of the last year has been a huge emotional ass whipping.
To keep up the work I want to do, I need to feel good about what I've done. Yes, you can take that as a shameless plea for positive feedback and praise, but it's also "just the facts". If I'm not deriving pleasure from my results, I simply won't keep up with the process. Part of my mind is judging the merits of goals, motivations and inspirations, and another part is wondering how I can feel pleasure again.
Last night's TV show helped. I don't remember the name of the dieter who touched me the most, but she was a young black woman who lost only 19 pounds and worked damned hard for every ounce. The change in her body was noticeable as they had their final weigh in. I wish I had her dedication to exercise. I can't even imagine trying to run a 5K, and she completed one. She was in last place, and every other contestant went back to join her as she crossed the finish line. She had the courage to perform in a belly dancing recital, and she was absolutely beautiful. I was truly inspired.
I still don't enjoy exercise, but I really want to. Even with the cooler temperatures, walking is a still a chore. After only two miles I'm dripping sweat, huffing and puffing and feel like I can't go on. I know I used to feel that way after making it to the end of the block. I just haven't found an aerobic exercise that feels right to me, and I need one. I want one. Besides the fat burning, I want to improve my flexibility and grace, and I'd love to pick my c-sectioned belly up off my thighs. Current circumstances mean this has to be something I can do solo, and I need to broaden my search.
I know the challenges I'm facing, and they're a little intimidating. However, I am keeping on and will continue to take off.
This entry also posted at my other blog.
Half My Size Challenge, 100 pound weight loss, weight loss, motivation, exercise