Thursday, February 19, 2015

Weighty Issues

I'm officially in the range of normal for my weight.  It's a large range (depending on which chart you use) and I am in the heaviest end of it, but technically I'm not overweight, and certainly not obese.  It's taken a lot of effort, but it's good to be 35 pounds lighter than I was back in June.  I still have another ten pounds or so to go, because I want to be squarely in the normal range.  I would like the option of one day eating a cookie again without that tipping the scales into overweight territory.

Self-perception is a strange thing, though.  Other people tell me I look slimmer, but I'm not really seeing it.  I know I am smaller by looking at the clothes I can wear.  I was an 18 and now I'm an 8.  (My preferred swimsuit, however still fits best at a 14, because somewhere, somehow, I am always a size 14.)  But when my pants are tight enough to stay up I still have some muffin-top stuff going on, so I don't feel any different.  I have the same body issues, just different pants.

I got fitted for a new bra, finally.  The ones I got the last time I decided to splurge on something nice were gapping on the sides and just weren't working, so I figured maybe I was a smaller size now.  Well, yes and no.  I went down a band size and up a cup size.  I am now the tremendously unavailable size of 38 DDD.  No more just picking up something at Target, I will have to stick with the specialty shops.  Which is fine.  It's worth it to have a bra that fits right.

Exercise I have a good handle on at this point.  I've worked out a good schedule that gets me into the pool to swim a mile typically five days a week.  I still resent the time it takes up, but I appreciate my ability to do it.  However, exercise affects my shape, not my weight.  The real work is in my food choices.

Eating is still a struggle.  I'm sticking to a few simple things that I like, which isn't bad, just boring.  It's hard to turn down foods other people want me to make a special exception for, but I don't think they realize such exceptions aren't rare, they appear daily.  It's always someone's birthday, or we're being thanked randomly with cookies, or a neighbor makes bread and wants to share.  Those are lovely things, and I always appreciate the thought, but I know if I indulged each time I'd be right back where I started.  So I have to say no.  Occasionally I cry over it.

Which makes me wonder if it's worth it.  I can't really win.  My choice is to either not worry about the food and be unhappy about how my clothes fit, or to be unhappy about the food and pleased with how my clothes fit.  Currently I'd rather go with the boring food, because objectively it's healthier.

And it's hard to deny that I'm seeing health benefits after cutting out sugar, dairy, and wheat.  I have splurged on a little bit of dairy once or twice, but it seems to make my face itch.  My skin is much clearer than it was a year ago.  I almost never get headaches anymore, and the vague ones I sometimes get I can trace directly to lack of sleep.  My heel pain is gone (I assume from being lighter).  None of that makes it less hard to turn down a brownie.

I really don't blame anyone who makes the other choice at this point, though.  There are advantages to being heavier, even if we're not supposed to say that.  For instance, I may be strong from exercising, but on the whole I feel more fragile.  I felt less vulnerable, more solid, at the higher weight.  I'm colder now.  I used to never get cold, and now I have a "house sweater" because I'm never warm enough.  Sitting on any hard seat is uncomfortable.  A fluctuation of my weight by a small amount affects the fit of my clothes dramatically.  When I was heavy I had clothes that were simply "big" and worked in a broader range.  Now if I'm having a "fat" day because my cycle is making me bloated or something, I have to go up an entire pant size and I can't wear half the shirts in my drawer.  Plus there is the uncomfortable sense of having caved to the norm by losing weight.  That's silly, I know, because I really am doing this for my health, but I resent how mean people are to the overweight in our society, and I will always identify with that group on some level regardless of my size.  I have no plans to go back to being heavy if I can help it, but I'm not going to deny there were things about it that were just fine with me.  Like being able to have pie at Thanksgiving.

But normal weight is good.  I'm proud of myself for being disciplined and setting a good example.  A couple of the kids have started walking on the treadmill in my shop because they feel they need exercise (since it's too unbearably cold to move around outside), and part of me hopes it's because they see their parents making a commitment to exercise so they understand it's a priority.  (Quinn, however, didn't get at first the information coming up on the treadmill displays as he walked, and he kept announcing to me as I was working on my violin that he "gained another calorie!")

Next will be to see if there are measurable changes in my health at my annual doctor's appointment in a month.  That will be interesting.  In the meantime, I'm packing up lots of larger clothes for Goodwill, and hoping I don't fall off my food wagon and have to go replacing them anytime soon. 


  1. Bathing suits are weird that way. My bathing suit size is four sizes larger than my regular size.
    You've worked so hard, and you look wonderful! Even if appearance isn't your primary motivator, you still look wonderful. Of course, I always thought you were beautiful. And I'm glad you feel good, even if you are a cold hard-ass now :).
    Avoiding sugar is so hard. I've been trying, but it's always someone's birthday when you work in an elementary school.
    I'm so proud of you for sticking with your program! You'll be running circles around me when we go to Peru. Or is it Thailand now?

    1. Well now I know what to put on my tombstone: "She was a cold hard-ass."

      Avoiding sugar is ridiculous. I seldom buy candy but our house is filled with the stuff. It's at the center of every holiday anymore, so my kids have plastic tubs with candy from Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's, Easter.... even 4th of July! When did that become a candy holiday?! Plus parties, violin lessons, trips to the barber, nice neighbors. The candy supply line never ends. I've just kind of trained myself to not see it. My kids each got a bakery treat today and I selected a nice looking apple, which makes me both proud and depressed at the same time.

      I still have Peru in my head. What about New Zealand? Or Tasmania? Do people go to Tasmania? Or Transylvania! Hm. Luckily we still have a few years to talk.

    2. Oh, and thanks for the compliment. It means a lot and always has. Remember that night you visited me at college and we went out all dressed in party style? We were sharing a mirror and you stopped at one point and said I looked beautiful and that's always stayed with me. That's gotten me through some bad mirror moments. Thanks.

  2. Korinthia, It takes such discipline to swap good habits for those that are unhealthy. Well done on the 25 pounds. You will feel so happy when you visit your doctor next month!

    1. The past couple of years I've been told my bad cholesterol is too high, and that I should be on some kind of medication. I'm hoping the diet change has been enough to change that, but we'll see. If I still have the same problem at this point then it has nothing to do with diet. I really don't want to have to take pills.

  3. Great work on sticking with your goals and congrats! I've been thinking a lot lately about trying to eat healthier and for some reason my 1. laziness; 2. some food are coping mechanisms that I still feel I need; 3. laziness...

    We actually eat pretty healthy around here but my diet cokes, and processed sugar fixes are just hard to give up.

    1. Diet Coke was my soda of choice (when Vernors was unavailable), but I've just read too many bad things about soda in general at this point to feel comfortable drinking it. But I never drank enough of it that it was hard to give up. I'd miss it with pizza, but no more pizza, so oh well.

  4. I think you are doing awesome!!! We are in a very similar spot- I lost about 30# since last May- and I completely identify with the cold hard ass thing. :) Seriously, have benches always been this uncomfortable?!

    Also, I think the muffin top thing is hopeless. I weight 135# and am a size 6 at 5'7" and FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, I still have a muffin top. I guess this is why women own Spanx. I blame it on the whole "having children" thing and have declared it unfixable. It admittedly got a little better with a ridiculous committment to sit-ups and planks, but I can't seem to find the motivation to maintain it, and its not like the muffin top went completely away, soooo.... Instead, I've just really, really embraced the whole "leggings" trend. Those suckers come up past my belly button and hold it all in. Genius.

    Anyway, great job. :)

    1. I've got some knockoff spanx for under certain outfits, and it helps make me feel less self-conscious. I feel like I can justify it as an extra layer for warmth this winter! Come summer I'll just be blobby and deal with it.