Disclaimer: This post is not meant to disparage people who struggle with their weight, or who are heavy. I am writing about ME, about MY experiences, and my views about MYSELF when I was overweight – aka FAT. It’s obnoxious that I even feel compelled to add a disclaimer to this post, but lord knows how sensitive society can be. Additionally, I’ll try hard not to make this some triumphant feel good kind of post – that’s not what it’s supposed to be, but who knows the direction it may take.
Having been fat in the past (seriously, I was chunky… maybe someday I’ll post pictures – for now, you’ll have to take my word for it), I’m determined to not let myself get there again. I’ve had people tell me that saying I was fat in the past is offensive – that I should say I was “very overweight” or that I was “carrying extra pounds,” but fuck that. I was fat. I had no medical condition that made me that way (in a moment of denial and self-delusion, I had blood panels run to check my metabolism and thyroid function and a bunch of other stuff), and I can make all the excuses I’d like, but there IS no excuse. I worked a job where I sat on my ass all day, paid no mind to the food I ate, and avoided exercise like the black plague. I’ve got a fairly petite frame, so it’s not like I was born built to carry extra weight. I was never heavy as a child – if anything, I was underweight. Plainly and simply, I let myself get fat.
To cut a rather long and painful story short, I’ve dropped well over 60 lbs in about a year and a half. Some of it was through hard work and exercise, some weight loss was through meticulously watching what I ate. Some of it can be attributed to getting back into a field where work requires being on my feet for 8+ hours per day, and some can most definitely be credited to a short stint in the hospital for mysterious abdominal issues that turned out to be gall bladder related.
Anyway, over the winter, I seem to have gained about 15 lbs back. I know why – I’ve paid less attention to what I eat (I order out at work waaaaay too much), and my workout habits are awful (Is hating exercise genetic or something? Seriously, I LOATHE the gym). Having learned from past experience, I know I need to get this under control before it snowballs and I’m buying clothes in sizes I’m ashamed to even admit I ever owned.
Here’s the thing about being fat that people who have never been fat may not know. It’s uncomfortable. It’s embarrassing. At least, for me it was. It took me a while to even acknowledge how big I had gotten. If I acknowledged it, it meant it was true… and if it was true, it meant I had to either do something about it, or be okay with it. Once I did acknowledge it and decided to do something about it, I became obsessed. I weighed myself two to three times a day, and tried every fad diet that came down the pike. Nutri-System tasted like dead ass (no, I’ve never tasted dead ass – it’s called a simile, people), but it worked. Well, it worked as long as I was on the program. As soon as I started eating real food again, I started gaining again. Jenny Craig was expensive and gross. South Beach made me cranky and bitchy and wretched – woman cannot subsist without carbs, as far as I’m concerned. The harder I tried, it seemed, the more I set myself up for failure.
After beating my head against the figurative wall for months, I came to a realization. The more obsessed I was, the unhappier I became. The vicious cycle I was trapped in influenced my eating habits… or triggered what I like to call “eating my feelings.” I’m not sure what opened my eyes to this fact, but thank God for whatever it was. From that point on, the obsession began to fade. What I learned was that making healthy, common sense decisions was what would help me shed the bulk of my weight. Once I stopped trying so damn hard – trying TOO damn hard, it became more about becoming healthy and happy than it did becoming thin again. Once that happened, the weight started to almost fall off.
After gradually yet almost completely altering the food and portion choices I make and integrating exercise here and there, I lost 20% of my body weight. And then I lost some more. I successfully shed, in essence, a SMALL CHILD worth of weight. As the weight started to come off, I started to feel like ME again. I was more inclined to go out with my friends without feeling like I was the fat one in the group. I was more confident at work, and I was more confident in general. When more and more people began mentioning my weight loss, I embraced it, thank them for their compliments instead of shying away from them like I used to. It feels damn good to be told how great you look, how happy you look. Losing weight changed my mindset, and the positive feedback I was getting kept me going.
Even though I gained some weight back of the winter/spring, I can say I’m still comfortable with the way I look. At a healthy weight, I’m hour-glass shaped, and I’m happy with that. I love having curves… lord knows it took them long enough to show up (I was built like a 12 yr old boy up until about my senior year of high school). I think there is something inherently feminine about having an hour-glass figure, and don’t quite understand women who want to shed ALL body fat. Most men I know openly admit they like a girl with at least a little meat on her bones – no one wants to cuddle up to a skeleton.
Getting back to the title of this post, I refuse to be a fatty ever again. Being aware that I’ve gained 15 lbs, my ass is now on Weight Watchers (started today – I’m doing it online because group meetings where everyone shares their feelings are totally not my thing). WW seems to be a solidly built program that won’t force me to give up foods I love, but will help hold me accountable for what I put in my mouth (insert pithy oral sex joke here). I’ve done pretty well on my own in the past, but I know how slippery a slope weight gain can be. I think, right now, I need the food journaling and weekly weigh-in to get back into the habit of being aware of what I’m eating and when. Starting tomorrow, I’m getting back into the gym I loathe so much, armed with a playlist that embarrasses me (shitty pop music is great for keeping cardio pace – so is punk rock – makes for a very… eclectic mix) and the strong desire to shed some lbs. What I need to watch is the obsession end of things. Since WW online will only accept one weigh-in per week, on the same day every week, I need to try to make sure I only weigh myself once a week. Gone are the days when I kept my scale in the kitchen next to the fridge… it only made me step on at every opportunity.
So, guys, please be patient if you see a weight loss post pop up here and there on occasion – motivation is something I’ve always struggled with, and putting it on here where I know at least a few people I know are reading helps me set my mind to it.