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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

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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

 

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.

 

Better March

It’s March! I’m so happy that February is finally over. I don’t know about you, but it felt like February lasted forever. February was not kind to me either. I got sick in the final days of the month and I’m only now starting to feel better. Thank you for all the well wishes. They meant a lot to me. I’m glad it’s all going away. It’s all in good timing too. I have a lot going on these first couple of weeks in March and then some more stuff in the final weeks. I know that I’m going to be faced with several challenges this month, but I believe that I’m capable of handling them. In fact, I look forward to them. This month we’ll finally start to see some warmer weather, well, once this Titan passes us. sigh

Read the rest of this entry

Ramblings About Nothing

It’s that time of the week when I’m expected to step on my scale and share with you my progress. I’ve done that for 11 weeks now, but this week I decided not to. I’ve decided to cancel my weigh-in Wednesday posts indefinitely. This wasn’t a rash decision — I’ve thought about it long and hard.

As much as I wanted to believe otherwise, I was just not completely free from my number. I’d begun to feel pressure to produce great numbers. I don’t know how much of that pressure was real or imagined, but I figure it’s best to put a stop to it before it got to be too much. Also, I don’t think I was helping any of you by sharing numbers. It’s hard to not compare ourselves and I wouldn’t want any of you to get hurt somehow by comparing yourselves to me. I also felt like a hypocrite when I’d tell some of you that the number on the scale doesn’t matter (it didn’t) and then I’d parade my weekly weigh-in. I don’t know — it just felt wrong to me. That being said, I will be keeping track of my weight loss on a “whenever I feel like it basis” on MyFitnessPal and those measurements (whenever they’re taken) will be posted under my “Progress” tab.

I’ll repurpose my Wednesdays for reflection on the previous week or whatever interests me. I feel like you guys know a good deal about me, but not much of what I do and who I am. Perhaps I’ll use Wednesdays for that. 🙂 Let’s start right now!…

I love to read. In the summer, you’re likely to find me with my face in a book. That’s what I like to do. Reading calms me. I love to escape and reading provides that for me. I’ve always has an affinity for reading. When I was in kindergarten, my teacher suggested that I read books with a cassette tape so that I could learn English. I kept that habit until I was in second grade. Each week, I looked forward to checking out a book from the school’s library. It was always an experience for me. As a child, one of my favorite books was Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. I read that book numerous times. Naturally, as I’ve gotten older, my tastes have matured and I’m interested in a variety of genres. I don’t have a favorite because each book provides something different for me. It’d almost be like picking a favorite song — it’s almost impossible. Currently, I have several books and I aspire to collect enough to fill up my dream library which looks something this:

But I’ll gladly settle for this:

😉

Anyway, enough of that. Have a WONDERFUL Wednesday, my loves! Day 3 of being sick is kicking my butt so I’ll be continuing my bed rest. 😦

 

Until next time,

Carolina

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