In the past 18 months, I've lost 71 lbs. Thats a lot of weight, and I still have about 71 more pounds to go before I reach my goal size. You'd think that after a 71 lbs weight loss, I'd be getting lots of compliments and remarks about it from people...but I haven't! Aside from my Spark friends and my hubby, no one else has really mentioned it. A few months ago, I did get a generic "You're looking good these days" from someone, and I was pleased with that. But no one else has really said anything about my weight loss.
In the past, this would have defeated me! I've lost weight before, and it was the compliments that kept me going. But its different this time....I'm not losing the weight for anyone other than ME. I honestly don't really care if anyone else notices my weight loss or the changes my new lifestyle has made in me. I notice it, in the way I feel when I workout...in the way my clothes fit...in my stamina and energy. I notice it when I can easily slip into a booth in a restaurant, or slide behind the steering wheel in the car without it touching my belly anymore. I notice it in the firmness I feel in my body beneath the flab I still have to lose, and in my increased muscle strength.
Yesterday, a neighbor did finally ask me the question; "You've lost a lot of weight, haven't you?" And just as I was about to tell her that I had, she continued on with "You've gotten smaller but your upper arms are still really big."
You know what? I think almost ALL of us have parts of our bodies that we don't like so much, or that we're self conscious about. I've heard people say "I hate my thighs" or "My butt is too big." For me, the body part that I'm most self conscious about is my upper arms. Let's face it; they are pretty darned big! I have lost weight many times before, and reached my goal size a few times. It was great to be able to stop shopping in the plus sizes. But even at my goal weight, I would sometimes have to buy plus sized shirts simply because the sleeves in Misses shirts would be too tight on my upper arms. I would always think "I'd feel good about myself if I could only have smaller upper arms!"
I don't really think that way anymore. I LOVE my body now...all of it. I love my wrinkles and stretch marks. I love my webbed toes and my stubby fingers. And I love my big upper arms!
So when my neighbor mentioned my upper arms, I surprised myself. Instead of being defensive or embarrassed as I would have in the past, I just smiled and said "Yep, they're pretty big...but they're really strong, too. You should see how long I can hold a plank!" She didn't seem to know what to say to that, lol.
To be honest, I would love it if I could have slender arms. But its not the end of the world that I don't! I'm not going to waste time being unhappy about the size of my arms, or my stomach or my nose or anything else. I love my body! I love finding out how much it is capable of. I love seeing the changes that slowly appear as I continue to eat right and exercise. When I do yoga, it amazes me to see how flexible and strong I have become.
This is the only body I'm going to have here on this Earth, and I'm going to work to improve it as much as possible, and to keep it as healthy as I can. I'm going to love my body and appreciate it, because its an awesome creation.
“Everybody has a part of her body that she doesn’t like, but I've stopped complaining about mine because I don’t want to critique nature's handiwork...
My job is simply to allow the light to shine out of the masterpiece.”
— Alfre Woodward