Hey! I lost 30 pounds. Can’tcha tell?

Atlanta-home-pool

So, no one has noticed I’m losing weight.  That is so sad.  I told my trainer today that if he lost 30 pounds, he would be dead.  More on him later.

I’ve also said, when I’ve tried to do this before, that when you’re my size or larger… it’s an extremely slow process to lose weight.  I’ve used the metaphor that it’s like “emptying a swimming pool with a tablespoon.”

Of course, I haven’t broadcasted this news on social media like I did the last time I tried to do this.  I realize it’s going to take over a year to re-learn a new way to live in the new (old) skin I want to inhabit.  The first person who notices I’m losing weight may prompt me to post more publicly about it. We’ll see.

But I’ll tell you who does notice: ME.  Everything feels better.  I feel stronger, lighter.  My clothes definitely fit better.  I’m much more confident.  I’m not exhausted the same way I was.  My energy level is up, and walking up a flight of stairs does not ruin my whole day.

Even more than the physical change is the mental transformation.  As I said before when I started writing here again, I just decided I don’t want to be fat anymore.  Maybe it’s due to all the wonderful talk therapy I’ve been doing, I’ve realized I’ve been carrying this “extra person” around with me for way too long.  My trainer told me today that fat on a woman is designed to protect her.  I told my therapist recently that where the fat has always been a shield of armor– ensuring I would keep men away, being unfuckable and all–  I’ve realized it’s also a cage.  It’s been keeping me contained in a controlled, angry world of my own making.  I may have been keeping myself safe, but living in hiding or camouflage has served to perpetuate my own victimization and repressed hostility.

Unlike so many women who were always overweight and always were rendered invisible or déclassé in society, I was not always overweight.  I was once a hot cheerleader and even hotter twenty-something in business.  (Oh, the stories I yearn to write…)  I was one of those women who’d turn heads when I walked into a room.  That kind of power goes unchecked in the universe.  It’s a heady thing.

So, as I’m gaining a lot of ground with my new business, I’ve realized I need every tool in my tool belt to be successful with my ambitious goals.  I know my looks are a weapon of mass destruction, and I intend to deploy them strategically to reach my objectives.

Pretty women have been doing this since the beginning of time.  Don’t hate.

On my trainer.  He’s such a nice, young man. Funny too!  It’s reminded me that I long for a man to touch me in a caring way.  (Don’t go there.)  I’m talking about the way he gently presses his knee between my shoulder blades and stretches my arms backwards.  He cares about what we are working on.  He is encouraging me to be my best self.

#onwards

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Still at it

horseback-ridingSo, I did a little research and found that experts recommend a horse can only carry about 20% of its weight.  This includes a human plus tack.  They draw the line at about 240 pounds for the average horse at 1200 lbs.  I like to ride bareback, so maybe I could get away with 250.

In any event, it’s an interim goal.

I’ve pushed through the temptation to eat all matter of food that is not good for me: rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, etc.  I try to limit sugar in foods too, like fruit.

I cut out all forms of pure sugar or any kind of sweets.  So far, I’ve lost about 20 pounds or so.  Depends on what scale I use.

I feel better though, but am getting increasingly frustrated that it’s not coming off more quickly.  I’m looking into hiring a trainer.  The food deprivation is the toughest part of this, but it seems as though I’ve mastered it psychologically for now.

It’s really simple: I just don’t want to be fat anymore.  Until I decide I do want to be fat or don’t care, I’m just going to keep doing this.

We’ll see where it goes.  My awesome doctor, whom I’ve written about before, noticed the weight loss and was very supportive.  I’m conflicted about that because, as you know, I don’t have any health issues related to my size.

I just want to do normal things in a normal size body.  That’s about it.

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Hello, it’s me (again)

a-selection-of-fruits-and-vegetables.jpg

So, very quietly, I’ve started limited my food intake again to no carbs, no sugar.  I haven’t told anyone except my family.  I just decided it was time again.

This time it’s not personal; it’s business.

As wonderful as the new movement toward fat acceptance and health-at-every-size enthusiasts are, the rotten truth is people judge you when you’re fat.  You’re either discriminated against, you’re judged as inferior, or you’re simply invisible (which really is the worst).

I’ve been working too hard on my startup to sabotage my success.  I decided I have to look better to get the respect I deserve.  Does it piss me off?  Yes.  Do men have this problem? Not really.

Alas, here I am.

So far so good, however.  I’ve made the mental commitment to do it and have lost about 20 pounds.  It’s hard for others to tell, but I can tell.

And I feel better, so there’s that.  I will write here occasionally.  I’m interested in where this is headed and what I learn from the experience.

Salut.

 

 

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À Votre Santé!

doctorLike most overweight women, I dread going to a doctor– especially, most especially, a new doctor.

You never know if a doctor is going go treat you like a second-class citizen if you’re obese.  Worse?  They’ll diagnose you fat before they listen to what brought you into the office in the first place. There are some great pieces about this on the Dances with Fat blog.

I scheduled an appointment for a regular check-up with my new doctor here in Florida because I hadn’t had one in a while. To my surprise, I had a wonderful experience.  Not one person– the staff, nurses, or the doctor herself mentioned anything about my weight. Even after I weighed in on the scale. As part of the check-up, the doctor said she wanted to run a series of blood tests, and I complied willingly.

I took the blood tests and made a second appointment. The tests came back terrific.  No problems with cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or thyroid. All within the normal range.  The cholesterol could have slightly been better, but nothing to worry about at all. She did note that I had some B-12 issues, and I told her that was hereditary.  I remember my father having issues as he aged.  She was very concerned about this, and we set about to put a program in place to raise my levels.

Never once did she mention my size.

It’s as if I were a “normal” person, which in fact, I am. How refreshing. I will drink to that.

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Why It’s Okay to Be Fat

Over the weekend, I caught a little of Ragen’s Fat Activism online conference.  You can still sign up (until Wednesday) to hear the speakers here.  I’ll get to listening to all of these over the next few months.  

In the meantime, this speaker, Golda Poretsky, did a TEDx talk on, “Why It’s Okay to Be Fat.”  I think it captures everything I’ve been reading and learning on this topic.  

Give it a listen.  

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The Fatcinating Blog is Pivoting

brideMy son turned 18 this summer and is headed to college in a few weeks.  He’s my last child and empties my nest. It occurred to me that he has never known me to be a thin woman.  Never.  I was a fat bride in 1995, and I’ve been a fat Mom his entire life. Even my darling daughter pictured in the photo here has never known me to be thin.

This blog began as an attempt to work on weight loss. Although I lost 50 pounds a few years ago, I ended up injuring myself, taking on an unhealthy obsession about losing weight, and eventually gained all the weight back.  The best outcome of that exercise was learning how to cook.

In my last post two months ago, feeling the pressure to conform to society’s disdain for the obese, I began once again on the path to restricting my food intake.  Over the summer I’ve discovered a blogger, Regan Chastain, who has greatly influenced my opinion on these tough issues. Regan is a fat activist and writes powerfully about the everyday prejudices faced by the obese population.  I was mostly drawn to her cogent and honest discussion about the myths that link obesity to disease and morbidity.

Thinking again about my wedding so many years ago, I’m reminded of my rail thin ex-mother-in-law who has suffered with debilitating health issues for as long as my son has known her too.   In the past 18 years, where she has cost the federal government and State of N.J. thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars in medical costs (medicare and state pensions), my physical health has been exceptional.  I simply have no physical health issues that warrant any concern at all.  With the exception of the injury caused by my severe weight loss program, I’ve had a cold here, a skin rash there, an achy elbow… that’s about it.  In the past few years, I didn’t even have health insurance because I literally never went to the doctor.

So, this blog is pivoting from today forward.  I’m going to write about the “Audacity of Enjoying Life While Fat.”  I’m mostly going to document what it’s like to be an obese person in a society so fixated on a premium of fitness, physical attractiveness, and conformity within a rigid standard for acceptable physical appearance.  I will leave the past posts as a reminder to people who stumble upon this blog, that I was once like you. Someone who felt ashamed of what they looked like.

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“You’re Making Yourself Sad!”

BoehnerMy three-year-old grandson has this adorable thing he does.  If you’re making a sad face (say, like this photo of Congressman Boehner), he immediately pounces, points his little finger at you and says, “You’re making yourself sad!”  He shouts it with much impassioned judgment.  Of course, it cracks everyone up, and the victim of his wrath quickly turns that frown upside down.

I recently had to speak at a public event here in town.  And, as I stood in front of the audience, even though I knew my topic cold and had rehearsed my talk several times, all I could think about was how I looked.  Recall, speaking in public was one of my original motives (along with being taken seriously professionally) for beginning a concerted weight loss program.

The fact that there is a profound stigma and societally acceptable prejudice levied against the obese does not make it easy to not care what people think.  It bothers me to no end to see how women in every facet of life are judged first by how they look, everything else second.  Especially, most especially, when it comes to weight.

After that event, I realized it was really me who was condemning me.  Who knows what anyone thought?  They probably just thought I was a terrible speaker (which I was because I was fighting this unfair image war in my head while I was trying to get through the talk.)  It’s what I thought that mattered here, and it impacted my performance.

I was making myself sad.

So, rather than have more wars in my head, and limit my ability to support myself by not wanting to speak or be seen in public, I’m back at it.  I can’t possibly change the world’s opinion about this, so I’ll just have to conform to “fit” in.

Have no idea if anyone is still subscribed to or reading this blog.  But, I’ll be continuing to update here with my progress.  I reconfigured my Withings scale.  Considering I gained all the weight back I had lost, it’s back to the drawing board.  The good news is I lost about 4 pounds this week.  I’m just back to no carbs, no sugar.

I’m making myself happy… by at least trying.  That has to count for something.

 

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