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Moving On

What a crazy month this has proven to be. I’m currently in the process of moving jobs, homes, cities, etc.! Once again, a lot has piled up on my plate and I can barely keep up. Unfortunately, that almost always means that blogging has to take a back seat. That being said, this is an exciting time in my life and I’m looking forward to the new possibilities and opportunities that present themselves to me.😀 I’m still going, I’m still keeping on with my quest to make it through April. This year is a complete 180 from where I was last year and I’m so thankful for that. I still have all your amazing, inspiring stories in my head and your lovely, encouraging words in my heart. I miss you all. I hope to be back at this again once I’m settled. Oh, and to those who nominated me for various awards, I appreciate your thoughtfulness. That you would consider me worthy of a nomination means the world to me. Anyway, I’ll try to get back on the blogging saddle as soon as possible.

 

Until next time,

Carolina xoxo

 

What I’ll Miss

Losing weight can be so scary. Sometimes, I focus on the things I’ll lose that have nothing to do with the scale. In fact, sometimes I think I’m afraid of succeeding because I’m afraid of finding out who I will become. I don’t think that a drastic change like a huge weight loss can occur and leave a person unchanged.

Recently, I came across an article by Kelly Coffey wherein she talks about the 5 things she misses about weighing over 300 pounds. I’ve included the article for you all here:

I used to weigh more than 300 pounds. I smoked like a house on fire, I drank like a blues guitarist, I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, and I never, ever exercised.

In 2003 I lost more than half my body weight. In 2007 I started a wildly successful personal training career. Today I’m fit enough to run (though I usually choose not to), and thin enough to comfortably wiggle my butt into size 6 jeans (though I usually wear super-stretchy workout clothes).

You might think that when I reflect on my 300-pound self that it would be with disdain or pity. Hell no. The longer I’m thin, though, the more I miss the gifts of living in a body so big that people often turned away. It may sound strange to some, but here are five things I miss about my old, obese self:

1. Power

Being fat gave me natural physical strength. As a thin person, I have to go out of my way to be strong. Despite daily strength training I’m nowhere near as powerful as I used to be. Once upon a time I could confidently lift a couch into and out of a moving truck (a U-Haul, not a truck in motion — being fat never did give me super powers). Today, I labor under the weight of heavy things. I miss the natural, organic strength that I used to take for granted, the sheer power born of moving under the weight of my own fat day after day.

2. Comfort

At bedtime I lie down in a sea of pillows. My husband laughs at me, but I need all those pillows because I spent most of my life in a large, soft body. When I’m lying on my side, the feeling of knee bone on knee bone is enough to keep me up all night; I hug a pillow to compensate for the generous expanse of tummy my arm used to rest on. I haven’t slept on my stomach in over a decade because I lost the nice, round belly that softened the space between my spine and the bed. Also, I could write a whole post about how awful it feels to sit on a hard surface with a bony butt. Tail bones and hard seats: never the two should meet.

3. Perspective

When I was fat I understood that most weight changes are fleeting and insignificant. At 300 pounds, I wore clothes forgiving enough to accommodate ten pounds lost or gained, so I didn’t think much of it. Sadly, going from a size 6 to an 8 makes me nuts in a way that going from a size 26 to a 28 just never did. I miss the freedom I once had from noticing and obsessing over Every. Single. Pound.

As an obese woman I experienced the world every day in a body that was judged, undervalued, demonized, mocked, feared, despised, and avoided. Those awful experiences gave me more empathy, more character, more personality, and a broader, richer and more inclusive perspective than lifelong thinness ever could have (back off, deep and interesting lifelong-skinny women — I’m speaking for myself here). I also have a much more meaningful appreciation for my health and the body I have today, and I sure as hell will never take it for granted. Not to mention the deep respect I automatically have for every person I meet who doesn’t fit the (white, straight, middle-class, able-bodied) mold.

4. Friendships

Starting and maintaining friendships was easier when I was fat. Women rarely saw me as a rival and were less self-conscious than they are around me today. My larger body made it easier for my peers to let their guard down and be themselves. Because I felt less-than when I was fat, I was way more forgiving and accommodating, and I often edited myself for maximum social appeal.

Friendships today are more likely to feel peppered with insecurities. Confident and candid, strong and outspoken, today I present the real me, and, at times, ruffle the feathers of the sort of people I spent my early life catering to. The friendships that remain require real, sometimes uncomfortable heart-to-heart discussions, and true open-mindedness; they can be exhausting. When I’ve had a long, hard day, I miss the easy, comparatively effortless friendships of yesteryear.

5. Presence

Finally, there’s the weird disconnect between the size of me in my mind and the size of me — of my physical body — in the world. The “me” in my brain is big. My voice is big. My feelings are big. My attitude is big. Ten years ago, all that bigness was reflected in my body — fat, round, impossible to miss. Now, my personality and my body feel mismatched, like my mind is walking around in shoes several sizes too small. I miss feeling like a cohesive whole. I miss inhabiting the grander space I once did.

The longer I’m thin, the more in love I fall with the fat body I once had, and with the woman I was before I lost my weight. I’m the luckiest person I know, in large part because my personality and perspective were developed in the context of being a fat woman.

Today, I get to work with women and men of all sizes and all abilities. I love them — each and every one of them, inside and out — and I love helping them, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, to fall in love with their own perfectly imperfect bodies.

I enjoy her perspective, I really do. It’s not the typical stuff you get from people that have lost a lot of weight. These are not things that are easy to admit, but occasionally, if you listen carefully, you’ll hear people who have lost large amounts of weight say a couple of these things.

I know there a lot of things some of you won’t agree with and that’s fine. There are things I don’t agree with either, but I would love to know what you guys think about this.

In the end, the benefits of losing weight outweigh the consequences, but I think I still have a lot to learn and let go of first.

 

Until next time,

Carolina

Testing the Waters

Testing-the-Waters

Hello! How are you?! I trust that you’ve all been well. Judging from your posts, it appears that you are. I’m happy to see that. Me? I’m feeling surprisingly nervous about writing again. I feel like I’ve got my hand in the cookie jar and I’m about to get caught. In all honesty, this feels weird, but it’s a good weird.

Before I get into anything, let’s address the question that hangs on no one’s lips: where have I been? Well, the answer isn’t that simple. I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing, and yet, I’ve felt too busy to post. We can delve deeper into this in future posts. I know that this is not a satisfactory answer, and for that I’m sorry, but that’s all I have.

Anyway, if all goes well, I’ll start sharing my life with you all again very soon. I promise, I won’t go more than a week between posts.😀 In the meantime, keep being the wonderful people that you all are!

 

Until next time,

Carolina

 

To Exist

For the first time ever, I’m going to share with you all a little song. It’s in Italian and it’s called L’appuntamento (1970) by Ornella Vanoni and it was featured on the Ocean’s Twelve soundtrack (2004). You need not speak Italian (I don’t) to get the gist of the song. Vanoni transcends language with the emotion and vulnerability in her voice. I love this song. I love the melancholy that lingers in the air long after Vanoni stops singing. The song is sad and that may turn some people off, but give it a listen:

The video I’ve shared has the English translation at the bottom. You can read them while listening. The translation isn’t 100% accurate, that much I know, but I believe it to be as close as possible. Again, speaking the language is not required for enjoying this song. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Today is the eve of my birthday and I think my quarterlife crisis has started! This is not making for a fun day. I’m painfully aware of my own mortality, and everything that gets left behind with the passage of time, so I’ll probably shed some tears tonight. Yes, when it comes to my birthday, I am that dramatic. Don’t judge me. Lol!😉

In keeping with the existential aspect of my thoughts and this post, I want to share with you all, my favorite short story. It’s called The Last Question by Isaac Asimov. It’s science fiction, but it has an eerily prophetic aspect to it. I don’t want to give away too much, but the story is written from the perspective of several different people, across several different eras of humanity in the future. There’s not much else I can say without spoiling it so let me stop talking about it now. One last thing, here’s what Isaac Asimov himself has to say about it:

This is by far my favorite story of all those I have written. After all, I undertook to tell several trillion years of human history in the space of a short story and I leave it to you as to how well I succeeded. I also undertook another task, but I won’t tell you what that was lest l spoil the story for you.

It is a curious fact that innumerable readers have asked me if I wrote this story. They seem never to remember the title of the story or (for sure) the author, except for the vague thought it might be me. But, of course, they never forget the story itself especially the ending. The idea seems to drown out everything — and I’m satisfied that it should.

Please read it. Let me know what you think. It’s quite a quick read. It’ll end and you’ll be wanting more. It’s that good!😀

Well, I’m done for today. I’m going to enjoy this day by listening to music and reading. I hope you all have a terrific and hopefully thought-provoking Tuesday!

Until next time,

Carolina

Success

Success is addictive. It’s like any other drug or vice out there. Now, I know that being successful and wanting more success is normally a good thing, but like any high, too much of a good thing can be bad. Apply that to weight loss and you’ll see what I’m getting at. If it’s too easy and you’re too successful, you may believe that not doing much will afford you the same results. Success can spoil a person. I’ve had it happen to me. I’ve seen it happen to other people. What I’ve come to realize is that success that is hard earned feels a lot better than success that is handed to you. What happens when I fight hard for an accomplishment is that I fight even harder to keep it. If something is easily obtained, I don’t care if I quickly lose it because I didn’t invest much effort into getting it.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, I have noticed that I’ve been very complacent and content in not doing much. The enthusiasm I had early on is wearing away. I’m finding that I have to actually resort to my desire and drive to actually continue. It’s no longer “just happening” for me. I have to work much harder than I ever did before to achieve half as much. This didn’t happen overnight. No, this has been going on for a while now and I’ve just kept sweeping it under the rug because I honestly thought that acting like it wasn’t a thing would help me. Needless to say — it hasn’t.

Am I saying that I was too successful early on? Yeah, perhaps I was. I got comfortable. I’ll use an analogy: I was the Hare in my weight loss journey when I should have been the Tortoise. Thinking I’d figured this all out, I could rest on my laurels a little bit because I was well ahead of where I thought I’d be. Failure seemed so distant and I thought that I could “take a break.” What I didn’t understand was that failure is always chasing you. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t rest. It doesn’t sleep or eat. Failure is always just around the corner waiting for you to slip up.

In the illustration above, that’s me with the gorged stomach. That’s precisely how I’ve been about losing weight lately. The tortoise is whatever I consider to be failure. It’s too close and I’m vulnerable. I need to wake up. I need to regroup and get my act together. I’m really pissed off at myself. I don’t hate myself, but I’m on a precipice right now. I can either give in and let myself fall or I can do what I need to do and succeed the right way. I choose the latter. Here’s what my new picture will look like when I overcome whatever the heck this is:

TortoiseAndHare

 

This time, I’ll be the Tortoise.😉 Success is not guaranteed. It is not deserved, but rather earned. I have to remember that. Here’s to humility!🙂

In happier news, Titan was a bust! Woot! We got no snow. I’m also almost back to 100% health. I am really happy right now.😀 I hope you’re having a marvelous Monday!

 

Until next time,

Carolina

 

Photo Sources: Here and here.

 

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