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Forty Pounds In ... and Frightened.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Since I joined SparkPeople, I've lost 40 lbs. And on Saturday, when I saw that scale read UNDER 200 lbs (for the first time in over a decade), I was delighted. Absolutely delirious with joy. 10 lbs more lost will put me at the weight I was when I graduated high-school (and half-way to my goal of a healthy weight). I'm well on target, and a lot of these healthy habits are becoming automatic.

So, naturally, on Saturday & Sunday I went over my calorie goal. On Sunday I didn't even exercise. My mood dropped dramatically on Sunday, too, and I realized that my big *win* - which it still is - has put me in a strange emotional place. During my walk this morning, I realized ... I'm terrified.

Not because I don't think I'll reach my goal - I know I have the tools and determination to reach my healthy goal weight. But my mental picture of myself is slipping, and that's disturbing. I've been the funny fat girl for a really long time, and that's all a lot of people have ever seen. Who am I if I let go of that social identity?

In a strange way, my weight has protected me. Certainly, society likes to criticize heavy people, and there's a lot of judgement and size-shaming ... and yet, the amount of bullying I faced in high school decreased as my weight increased. I'm intelligent and introverted - when I *looked* the same, more or less, as everyone else, those were the aspects the bullies attacked. Those were personal, aggressive assaults on my self-identity. Compared to that, a bit of shoving and a few names about my size were trivial and easy to overlook. I built my armour a bag of chips at a time.

Now I realize I'm in the process of taking off that armour, and it's hit me how vulnerable that can make me. Instead of being inside this 'fat suit' of protective padding, it's starting to be me facing the world, and that really frightens me.

I'm hoping that some of my SparkFriends will be able to offer advice, suggestions, or other ways to deal with this fear, because I don't want this to derail me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'll still love you when you are a skinny, healthy girl. Hope that helps. I labeled this segment of my journey as "Lola's Adventures in One-derland," ( I didn't like Two-terville much at all) and it looks like it will be a most marvelous ride, much more so if you will accompany me on this adventure.
    But 'tis true, it is also easier for me to face denigration for my weight--because I am fat and I know it, I denigrate myself for it, and it is an outside thing--than to be denigrated for things of my heart and soul, like my values, worth, intelligence, and competence. I'd rather be insulted for what I look like than who I am.
    1883 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/27/2013 1:08:04 PM
  • OJ_2_OK
    now you'll be the funny fit woman in the room. To be honest, I'm totally there with you. I just realized today that I feel "skinny" for the first time. I've started to buy new clothes and really look at myself as the "skinny" girl. However, to take some of the fear out of it, I try to look at is as more of the HEALTHY girl. The girl that LOVES life. the girl that loves life so much that she takes care of her body because she loves that too.

    Focus on how you feel. And how you felt before. You won't want to go back.
    1884 days ago
  • MINDY502
    I think we all can relate on some point or another having to deal with this as that is what we all are doing on here is losing weight and it does make us look different and more vulnerable to these thoughts. At least you are recognizing them and please dont let them get your derailed because it is easy to do. You have worked to hard to get where you are now. I am doing this all over again because I put my weight back on and now having to do it again. So find support and embrace the new you because you are worth it, we are all worth it. You can do it!!
    1884 days ago
    Lots of skinny people have the funny guy facade to protect themselves. I hope as you get to know yourself, you will find people who love you for who you really are. emoticon
    1884 days ago
  • CANDOK1260
    emoticon i true as sabtoge my weight lose you need to blog and get through the center of your self esteem you can do this i have
    1884 days ago
    oh this is a common problem! we will always choose the familiar over the unknown, regardless of benefits we could reap.

    at the moment i'm into qigong, and I came across a video on youtube explaining some of the teachings. one 'master' was showing the paths of energy flow in the body, then he said that fat cells do not transport energy very well (nice way of putting it), and that it would be a good idea to get rid of excess fat... not to make you vulnerable, but to make you stronger and more energetic.
    this 'wall of protection' does not do the job it's meant to! it may feel like a 'comfort blanket', but in reality it's a cop-out. an excuse to run away from things we fear.

    go slow, give yourself time to get used to your new situation, step by step. at your own pace. if you get a panic attack, then don't push things, just try to maintain a while, before moving on. listen to and respect your body, it can tell you things you are not aware of.

    emoticon emoticon
    1884 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/26/2013 9:05:43 AM
    Consider losing weight very slowly -- maybe like a half a pound a week -- at least for a couple months. I'm thinking that it will just take time until you can wrap your head around your new identity and are feeling comfortable with getting smaller. I "only" lost 80 pounds and I did it in 2 phases. I lost 60, gained back 25, then five years later lost 50+ more. I was in my late 50's for the second phase and had been overweight/obese for over 5 decades. It was a huge change in my identity in so many ways.

    I recommend clothes shopping -- really looking in the mirror -- to get a handle on how the outside of you is changing. Even if you don't buy much or even nothing, just keep trying on things and find your style and who you want to project. Come to see yourself as that new person. The blogging and journaling is a great tool to deal with the internal issues. Will your personality change as you lose weight and give up the "protective padding?" Maybe some. I think it helped me to be older and fairly settled.

    These are some crucial issues. Best wishes for working through them thoroughly and coming through a happier, healthier, freer person!
    1885 days ago
    1885 days ago
    I so 'get' your blog and your fear of seeing a new you in the mirror. I come at this challenge from a different perspective because I've pretty much always been the skinny minny until my mid to late 40's. I noticed just as you said that people were much more interested, accepting, and open to the skinny me than the fatty me. As I gained weight I faded into the background and felt kind of invisible.

    I'd say that you sit down with yourself and have a serious talk about the fact that you aren't striving to be skinny...but you aRE striving to be healthy. Big difference between the two..there are plenty of fat skinnys out there. Maybe if you can wrap your head around this new perspective you will know that you aren't on this journey to a particular number on the scale you are on it to save your life and love yourself throughout the process.

    Okay...five bucks for the little counsel session...smirk...just joking! emoticon

    I'm here for you...cheering you on the ENTIRE journey! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1885 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/25/2013 5:56:23 PM
    I always self sabatoge when I get close to my goal. I don't know what it is. I guess it is kind of like what you are thinking. I have been this way for so long I do not know how not to be. I am at 188 and I have 45 pounds left to go. My advice is make a new Identitiy. I always tell my kids you can be anything you want to be when you grow up so I tell you, you can be anything you want to be when you are skinny. You can be the funny skinny person or the all serious skinny person. It is all up to you. But face it you will be skinny!

    Keep up the great work!
    1885 days ago
    I understand completely what you mean. I have sabotaged my weight loss many times. However I was not as fortunate as you to recognise it till i was past the point of no return. I am so proud of you because you recognise and have the tools to stop this before it gets out of hand. If you continue to journal your thoughts, eat right and exercise you will win this battle. Good luck


    1885 days ago
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