Thursday, May 18, 2006

Clarification

I don’t think I’ve been really upfront, for some reason, about where I’m at with the whole weight loss thing right now, and so maybe that makes my last post kind of confusing.

So here it is.

I started out at around 180 pounds. A very unhealthy 180 pounds. I ate my dinner in front of the tv every night. I ate too much at every meal. I thought low fat triscuits were healthy even though I ate them a box at a time. I never exercised. I smoked. I bought fruit and vegetables all the time but I always just let them rot in my refrigerator. I ate out constantly and mashed potatoes were my favorite food and everything had sauce or ranch or cheese on it and I had to down Maalox and Zantac all the time because my stomach was constantly fucked up.

When I decided, finally, that I wanted to lose weight for real, I had to change my whole entire life, every part of it. I did it one day at a time, and I lost 60 pounds, and my life is a million times better now. I love that I’m a runner and I love how I eat now. I feel so much healthier. But I don’t feel better about myself.

So no, I’m not giving up running. I’m not giving up eating chicken breast and strawberries and watermelon and salad and fresh fruits and vegetables. I want to do that stuff MORE.

What I want to give up is feeling bad about myself because I’m not skinny enough. Although I try not to get into numbers here, I will tell you, because it makes more sense if you know, that right now I weigh 120 pounds (I’m 5’2”). I’m not fat anymore. But when I see pictures of myself or when I look in the mirror, I still see a fat person looking back at me. Especially when I am around people who intimidate me. The logical part of my brain knows that I’m not fat and that I will always be a short curvy girl and I’ll never look like a J. Crew model, but the crazy part of my brain, the part that I hear the loudest, tells me all the time that I really need to lose 5 more pounds and then I will look better. A lot of the time, I feel like I am still a little chunky at this weight - but if I lose ten pounds then I will be skinny. THAT’S what I would like to give up. I would like to give up feeling bad about myself because I’m not bony.

And I’m not posting this so people can tell me how awesome I am or that I don’t need to lose any more weight, that’s not my point. My point is that I tried to feel better about myself by changing the number on the scale and that hasn’t worked, so I’m wondering out loud if just losing more weight isn’t the answer. And then I thought that incontrovertible evidence like pictures and size 4 jeans were the answer, because I obviously can’t tell for myself when I look ok. But now I wear a size 4 and I still feel fat and when I see pictures of myself I don’t feel better, I actually feel worse.

I read something yesterday on a body acceptance web site that said that your ideal weight is not the one that society tells you that should be, it’s the one that you can maintain while you live a reasonable life. All I’m saying is that I agree. I want to live a reasonable life. One where I am a runner and I weigh 120 pounds and I eat healthy food I love, and one where when I look in the mirror, I like what I see.

6 comments:

randomfatgirl said...

I feel so sad for you and also terrified that when I get there I will feel the same way. I can totally understand where you are coming from...I am also 5ft 2in and back when I was 112 lbs I looked in the mirror and saw the exact same thing that you see now...someone that was SO CLOSE to "perfection" but who just couldn't seem to get there. That kind of internal struggle is more tiring, discouraging, consuming, and hopeless than any amount of regular weight loss/gain on the road to 120...and it sucks because you've made this huge accomplishment and should be living the happiest life but something in your mind just isn't in line with your body. As cliché as it sounds, have you tried talking to a counselor? When I was going through it I became very abusive to myself...starvation, punching myself in the stomach or face, working out to exhaustion...a lot of unhealthy stuff. Then I finally took a downward spiral and started eating everything in sight...and my highest weight got to 205 lbs. At least you've got the desire to eat healthy going on, that's definitely helpful!! I want you to be able to be happy with what you see in the mirror too...because let's face it, happiness with ourselves affects every other aspect of happiness in our lives ya know? I'm rooting for you girl. ((HUG))

randomfatgirl said...

I feel so sad for you and also terrified that when I get there I will feel the same way. I can totally understand where you are coming from...I am also 5ft 2in and back when I was 112 lbs I looked in the mirror and saw the exact same thing that you see now...someone that was SO CLOSE to "perfection" but who just couldn't seem to get there. That kind of internal struggle is more tiring, discouraging, consuming, and hopeless than any amount of regular weight loss/gain on the road to 120...and it sucks because you've made this huge accomplishment and should be living the happiest life but something in your mind just isn't in line with your body. As cliché as it sounds, have you tried talking to a counselor? When I was going through it I became very abusive to myself...starvation, punching myself in the stomach or face, working out to exhaustion...a lot of unhealthy stuff. Then I finally took a downward spiral and started eating everything in sight...and my highest weight got to 205 lbs. At least you've got the desire to eat healthy going on, that's definitely helpful!! I want you to be able to be happy with what you see in the mirror too...because let's face it, happiness with ourselves affects every other aspect of happiness in our lives ya know? I'm rooting for you girl. ((HUG))

randomfatgirl said...

Sorry, didn't mean to double post, I double-clicked! :( Feel free to delete one (and this one too). :)

LME said...

You can totally tell me to shut it, but darlin', from what I've read here, it makes me worry about you, because I, like randomfatgirl, was once there, too. In fact, I weighed 119 at almost 5'7" and still thought I was fat. I had lost down to that from 185 lbs. It was sort of like I didn't know how to stop, to get out of that diet mode that had gotten me where I was. But there was something else going on, too. I also thought it would be really cool to get down lower than what I was. I wanted to be SKINNY. Painfully skinny. I never told anyone at the time, but I really, really wanted to weigh 100 lbs.

Please take care of yourself.

WifeMomChocoholic said...

Get therapy now before you allow your self image problems to lead you down the path to regaining the weight! Two years ago I was a size 6 and still hated how I looked in pictures and still wanted to lose 10 pounds. I wish I'd gone to therapy before I regained 30 lbs!

yoyogurl said...

My therapist tells me that if I can't love myself now, it won't make any difference what size I am. I'm sorry that you have to be the one that illustrates that to me but it does help on some level. Not to sound cliche, but the first step is recognizing it. So at least you've figured that part out. We are so trained to believe that once we are a certain weight, all our problems go away and that's *never* the way it is.