Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I am stylish?!

I caught a glimpse of myself in my apartment’s lobby mirror, and then I had to look again – I look like a typical young adult: stylish, professional, and happy! I’m no longer look the part of the “fat girl” (though I do think it). Breaking out of the “obese” category, both for BMI and clothing sizes (size 14), has allowed me to do a lot more things that I’ve never done before.

Some of the firsts:
  • I went shopping and discarded clothing because it didn’t look good on me. I used to buy everything that fit, because it was so rare they made clothes in my size.
  • I liked going shopping. Shopping is much more fun with stylish choices that fit me.
  • I am paying attention to style. Fat women have their own style by accentuating their curves. While my bottom is very curvy, my top is lacking, and most “fat” women styles don’t work for me. I’ve really enjoyed being able to pay attention to style blogs and then go out and buy the item in the store!
  • I wore a dress. I’ve worn dresses before, but only during fancy occasions. I hated how my legs looked in them, and I hated how my thighs rubbed. With much less thigh, there is much less rub, and the dress was very comfortable. I look forward to buying more work dresses!
  • I’ve reached my weight loss goal every week this month. This is because I got it through my thick skull that I can “uneat” calories by working out, but the only way to do that is by counting ALL my calories. I am super excited by my success this month.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

20% gone!

I’m still here! I’ve been focusing on different weight-loss priorities recently. Instead of blogging about my journey, I’ve been living my journey – something that feels new and different. I have successfully met my weigh-in goals two weeks in a row, and I’m lining up for a third successful week. This is the first time I’ve had consistently met my goals in a very long time, and it feels good.

I have started tracking everything I eat, which is new. I used to track to make sure I didn’t go over my calorie goal, but the moment I went over 1550 – game over. Once I started tracking everything I ate, even when it went over 1550, I realized that I can take back some of those calories by exercising. I can still reach my week’s calorie and weight loss goals, even if a day went poorly.

While this means I have been exercising a lot more, especially on weekends, it also means that I am more confident about my weight loss – and begin to believe that I can actually reach my goals. This self confidence is amazing and has completely changed how I feel about this journey. Suddenly I’m winning this race, rather than being the last runner on the team. (I do realize that running the race at all is amazing.)

As of this morning, I have lost 45 pounds, which is approximately 20% of my original weight! I hope to be under 180 by the end of next week, which is really exciting. I’m pushing against new boundaries daily; almost every day, I weigh less than I ever had in my young/adult life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I love me

Despite today's challenges, it's been a good day. When a fellow bus passenger tried to pick a fight with me and used me as a backrest and spoke rudely about me to fellow passengers, I just put some good music on my iPod and danced right there on the bus. I accomplished a lot in preparation of tomorrow's big event at work. I did my job - and I did it well. Yet I told myself at least once, "I Hate You."

I don't mean to be hurtful or negative to myself, and I often say it to myself when I'm not even unhappy with myself. I say it just because it's my basic emotion toward myself. I try to believe that my body is a temple, but more times than not I think of my body as the dirt on the temple floor. I've been trying to change this thought process, but it's hard. Generally when, "I hate you" pops into my head, I'm surprised and don't know what brought on those thoughts.

SparkPeople has a section for Emotional Eaters (called Mind Over Body Fat, which I think is hilarious), and I started going through it this evening. Their first "step" in ending emotional eating is "Put 'I' in Your Vocabulary": "If you have persistent difficulty actually exercising like you know you need to, for example, you probably don't describe this problem to yourself with thoughts that begin with the pronoun 'I'." And it's true. I never say, "I hate me." I always say, "I hate you." I am very proud of myself, and love myself a lot. It's that external demon that I hate. I need to learn to say, "I love me" instead of this negative crap.

The goods of the day: I ate 1,210 calories. Rockin' it. Am awesome at my job. Had an AMAZING work out this morning. Got home early from a meeting and got to do laundry (which is a huge relief!). My life completely rocks right now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I am no longer obese

Back in July I created rewards for myself. Every time I drop 5 pounds I get something fun. To prove how slow my progress is, this weekend was my first reward - a manicure. And to add to the joy, at 184 pounds, I am no longer obese! I weighed in at 185.0 on Friday and rewarded myself, and hopped on the scale on Monday to see a beautiful non-obese weight. I will hopefully hit "Healthy" right after my birthday (154 pounds).

I know that the BMI index is not accurate for everyone, especially not the muscled and fit people in our lives. Yet, I find it a helpful metric. As someone who has been fat my entire life, I have no concept of healthy for my body. I only know how to be fat. But finally - for the first time in my life - I am no longer obese! I am pretty excited. Now I'm just "over weight". I'm pretty sure the BMI was set up to make women feel lousy (over weight? really? I just dropped 40 pounds!), but all the same I'm dancing in my seat.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I read a few weight loss blogs because knowing that others are with me in this journey helps keeps me motivated. My real life weight loss partner, A - for all his loveliness - is a guy who never gave a thought about weight and size until he started losing weight himself. I think it takes a woman's (or attentive guy's) perspective to relate to the years of being fat and not being able to shop in stores, and the yearning to look something closer to the magazine covers than my (at the time) 300 pound mother.

Prior Fat Girl is a blog I've recently begun reading. She loves posting pictures, which is helpful when I don't really want to read content. She's currently doing a giveaway for 101 Things To Do Before You Diet. The book looks like a strategy on how to live a normal life. Many of the fat women I know avoid things just because of their weight. They don't go out shopping, swimming, hiking, or simply out and about with friends. Their shame of self is so overpowering it prevents them from interacting with their community. Yet, these women could be normal and having fun - if they'd let themselves be out there. Being happy and comfortable are the two best gifts you can give yourself, I believe. And you can't be happy without your community. I ultimately believe that the key of weight loss is simply being happy with yourself, and treating your body like the temple it is - and from the little I've seen of this book (reviews, etc.), 101 Things To Do Before You Diet seems to affirm this idea.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I've been at the same weight for a month now. It's very frustrating. Even the days I eat well and exercise, I stay at the same weight - or gain! It makes me feel like a failure, and I lose excitement about this weight loss journey.

I'm slowly getting back in the rhythm and really looking forward to my goal (which motivates me). I saw a SparkPeople post today on the longest people have plateaued. Seeing that others were struggling with the same problems made me feel more motivated and much happier in this journey. The simple fact that I am not alone makes me feel like I can finish this journey. It's weird how that works sometimes.

I am striving to only eat 1200 calories today. I've been hitting the high end of my calorie goal (1500), and I'm trying to eat at the low end to see if that makes a difference. It's less hard than normal because I'm newly motivated, but those bagels in the kitchen are calling my name. Must ignore!

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can

Just like The Little Engine That Could, I am going to make it to the top of the mountain.

I have been worried I won’t be able to make my goal - losing 52 pounds in 52 weeks. I am currently behind, and I have been afraid I wouldn’t be able to make up the lost time. I know that I can’t lose more than two pounds in a week. I did the math this morning, and it’s still something I can accomplish if I stay on my program until my birthday, which is something I NEED to do for myself. I must lose 24 pounds in 13 weeks. I know I can do this, and I can’t wait to see 185.4 on the scale next Monday!

Last week I went shopping for new clothes. I haven’t updated my wardrobe since I was 215 pounds and I’m starting to look sloppily dressed. I went shopping with a co-worker who can easily shop at any store in the mall. We went to H & M, who has discontinued their in-store size 16. I had been very proud to be able to shop at (selected) shops in the mall, and it was disconcerting to me that I could no longer comfortably fit into their pants. While depressing, it was motivating in a lot of ways. It gave me a shot of what I am missing by being overweight, and what I can accomplish – and just by the end of the year! I can do this!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Step up

I have a new workout partner (R), who I found through craigslist! R and I met up to work out, and the gym was packed, with lines for every single cardio machine. We decided to take a step class instead. R did step in college, but I was completely new to it. We stuck with it for the first 30 minutes, which shows our dedication. By minute 2 I was completely lost. I spent more time marching in place and laughing than I did twirling, turning around, or going backwards – as everyone else was doing.

The problem was two-fold. First, it was an Intermediate Step class. As mentioned, I’ve never taken a step class before, so taking an intermediate step class was probably a bad first step. (Sorry about the pun.) Second, the teacher didn’t care that we newcomers (about 7 people in the class total) were completely clueless. She acted like she was part of the class, and did not repeat the complicated steps, but just did the whole routine with the class and moved on to a new step.

Despite the frustration of not knowing what I was doing, it was a lot of fun. I want to do a beginning step class sometime, but ironically the gym doesn’t offer one. This, of course, makes me feel justified in R’s and my frustration toward the instructor. Oh well. I’ll go to another gym sometime and try it again, but this time take the beginner class.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Progress, not perfection

I have been in a really foul mood for the past few weeks. I wish I had one of those bright dispositions, but I was not blessed with enthusiasm of spirit. Having grown up with addicts, and been attracted to memoirs and resources for addiction, I know my self-criticizing sounds very similar to an alcoholic or drug abuser. I eat to quiet the self-criticizing person inside me. This person (let's call her Candice) will quiet down while I enjoy the numbness of feeling that food brings me. The moment I am finished, Candice will be in shock about the amount of food I just ate, and every single mistake I've made that day. Her favorite thing to say to me is, "I hate you." I tell myself this (uh, I guess Candice tells me this) every day. Forgetting to call someone is a hate-worthy offense. So is not doing laundry, not packing my bag the night before, or any of the many ways I am not perfect. Her disgust with me is overpowering, and compels me to quiet her the only way I know how - by eating.

The most common feeling I have toward myself is disgust. I am a perfectionist, and I feel overwhelmingly guilty when I don't get everything done perfectly the first time. When I think about my weight loss, I think about the slowness of this year rather than the fact that I've lost almost 40 pounds, 30 of which has been since January 2009! I worry about reaching my goal of 52 pounds by my birthday. I don't celebrate the fact that I am much smaller than I used to be, because in my mind that progress doesn't matter; only my failures matter.

A friend of mine - who has had a much more successful weight loss journey than I have had - told me his family had a saying. "Progress, not perfection." I'd really like to adopt this saying, but Candice is there laughing her ass off; I have been at the same weight for the last month or two. What progress?

I know I should celebrate my accomplishments, but I'm having a really hard time of smiling and being the passionate girl I used to be. Quieting Candice with food at least made me able to focus on other things than my self improvement. At least then, while I wasn't happier, I was having a lot more fun.