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Do I look ready for New Year's Eve? (PICTURES)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Just over a year ago I was 250 lbs. & over 50% BMI... Obese Class III.
(I know most of you already know this... and I know it, too... but somehow I've still not fully absorbed this fact so, please, bear with me as a continue to repeat it... until.)

Today I'm STILL 155 lbs. (all at once annoying AND gratifying)... I've been maintaining an almost 100 lb. weight loss for 4.5 months.

I was SO happy to reach this point (and truthfully, a little uneasy about going further down this road... and fatigued by the unrelenting focus required for me to continue eliminating fat).

Realistically, I have another 30 lbs. to go, yet I've chosen to focus on maintenance for the time being. Frankly, it would also be easier to settle here, than it will be to persevere toward my ultimate goal.

To be honest, I just haven't been able to find the energy to maintain a fat elimination focus these past months. Even thinking about continuing a fat elimination focus agitates me... makes me irritable. I seem to need to rest in my current accomplishment, rather than focus on what is not yet done. Has anyone else experienced this... needing to eliminate more fat, but being reluctant to continue to engage at this level (I've never heard anyone here at SparkPeople ever talk about feeling this way)?

Truthfully, I've been thinner, but I've never been in this precise place before... *content* right where I am. I just want to enjoy this place awhile.

I WILL re-focus on elimination of fat sometime in the New Year, but I think in order to be successful beyond this point, I need to really get comfortable with being where I am now... there are lessons to be learned here, too, I think.

While I'm overjoyed at what I've accomplished, and I feel WELL for the first time in my life, I'm not actually comfortable. I feel very hope-FULL, yet what I suppose I'm struggling with are old, dusty, worn-out, self-limiting beliefs and expectations... about my body, about who I'm supposed to be in the world, about HOW I'm supposed to be in the world... maybe even about the world itself.

All I really know right now is that as my weight has shifted, so too have so many of my perceptions, perspectives, preoccupations and viewpoints.

When I got to this weight, I felt so "free at last" and, quite frankly, to my eye I looked REALLY GOOD. Yet, as I live in this new body of mine (smallest I've been in 18 years), I am beginning to feel the weight of those undeniably extra 30 pounds. I honestly didn't, initially. I really figured I could maybe be 'DONE', regardless of what the charts and scale said. Now a certain level of discomfort is re-establishing itself (my BMI is still too high, I still have some minor health issues, my joints could still benefit from less weight, and I can now SEE the fat once again)... and that's a good thing, I think. When I finally resume fat elimination, I will not be chasing a 'goal weight' but rather genuinely moving toward my best self as evidenced by my body, and responding to a genuine desire... I will be internally, rather than externally motivated.

For now I need time... to... simply be (without judgement)... I think (because even while true, saying I STILL need to eliminate 30 lbs. is a judgement).

And, right now *being* has it's complications. For instance... tonight I went shopping. I have a New Year's Eve wedding to attend, and what's the point of a New Year's Eve wedding if glamour isn't part of it? Right?

As a MUCH younger woman, I LOVED the feeling of a whole new year dawning before me. The possibilities always felt limitless. No matter how difficult the past year had been, I also had the gift of a new year before me in which to embrace more of what I did want in my life. The new year has always been a window by which I could defy the closed doors of the year now past.

My friends and I used to dance the night away on New Year's eve. Every eve before New Year's eve, I went shopping for a glamorous dress... because they were always seriously discounted by then (and I always had a tight budget). So, in this respect, I was in my element tonight... full of delight and anticipation of a joy-filled evening.

Trouble is, within a very short space of time, I ended up confused and off-balance. I didn't know how to respond to the woman in the mirror. Worse yet, I seemed to have lost my sense of who I am and how to express myself in my choice of apparel. Very few of the dresses I initially chose to try on worked on any level. They made me look like I was playing dress-up... awkward, lacking in sincerity, incongruent, imposed upon my body... they were lovely dresses, and I wore them each well enough, but they didn't FIT.

It was a struggle (and exhausting... if not for my Mr.'s encouragement, and one truly helpful salesperson I'd have given up and gone home without a dress) to move beyond pretty dresses, and see dresses that reflected ME as I am NOW, and which enhanced the woman I've become... apparently not as fearful, somewhat willing to sparkle, not willing to let my clothes overshadow my spirit (as a younger woman, I think my clothes wore me more often than not, instead of the other way around).

It would not surprise me if I tried on at least 60 dresses. My poor Mr. stoically helped find different sizes, colours and even made suggestions (he has a surprisingly good sense and an eye for what would look well on me). We actually had a lot of fun! Because it wasn't a busy night in the stores, he came right into the changing room with me helped with zippers, and hung dresses back up after I tried them on. It took much less time than it would have otherwise, to get through the possibilities (which helped keep me motivated and encouraged)... and I HATE walking out into the store to show him what something looks like (I also really didn't need sales clerks desperate for a sale interjecting themselves into my process at this juncture).

I did eventually choose a dress. I still haven't decided if I will keep it... I have to take the Divine Miss O to get a dress tomorrow, and I may look a bit more then.

I do, however, LOVE the accessories and my stole (courtesy of my Mr. for Christmas... not real fur, but it still feels so wonderful). I have an irrational and near obsessional attachment to fur, LOL. As a little girl in the 60's, when my parents would have a party, all of the women arrived in fur... REAL fur... and the coats would be piled on Mom and Dad's bed. Unbeknownst to anyone, I would sneak in when I should have been sleeping, and burrow into these heavenly coats, laced with each woman's perfume and cigarette smoke, and glory in the heady luxuriousness of it all. I reveled at the softness of the fur and the contrast of the satin linings on my skin, and vowed one day to have a fur coat of my own (on the list of goal weight rewards... I can't in good conscience get one until I know I will wear it for the rest of my life... being a small woman, I'd likely have to get it tailored to fit, adding to the expense). This is the closest I've come to date, and I'm absolutley delighted, LOL!

So, what do you think? Keeper, or not?

(Mr. says I out-SPARKle the tree... the dress is soft, black, covered in tiny, tiny sequins, and feels like I'm wearing a long t-shirt... SO comfortable... the picture really doesn't do the fabric justice. I'd add sheer black hose... or would natural look better?)

(showing my flare for the dramatic... never a simple process, this taking pictures...)

(my "knock it off, and take the dang picture already" face... give the man a camera and he becomes opinionated, LOL)

(AH! That's better!)

(Channeling my inner 60's movie diva... how did I do?)

I'm looking forward to hearing what all of you think!

In the meantime, I hope your holidays are merry and bright... that each day of this Christmas season is a gift of indescribable sweetness, peace and JOY!

You all remain ever in my prayers: Throughout this holiday season, and well into the New Year, for you I pray... may an all abiding peace fill your thoughts, rule in your dreams each night, and conquer all your fears. May God manifest himself in ways you have never before experienced. May your joys be fulfilled, your dreams be closer, and your cares be lifted. I pray that faith enters a new height in you, that your territory be enlarged, and that fulfillment is just one step closer.

May you trust that God can do good in your life, exactly where you are. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in Jesus Christ. May you experience the peace of God within your heart and the joy of God flowing out. May you be content with the way God has made you, and satisfied by His love. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, hope, and love.
settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

May God always and abundantly bless you, and those you love, in every way that you require. May he hold you gently in the palm of his hand in a very personal way, and may you rest in the fullness of his love, his grace, his strength, his wisdom, his rescue, his redemption, his healing, his inspiration, his restoration and his mercy as you require it! May you carry in your heart this coming Christmas season an extra special awareness of God's great love for you; and as Christ is born anew in your heart this Christmas, may you feel his sweet and gentle baby-fingered touch upon your life, and may you see his miracles all around you. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!

Merry Christmas, and a blessed and joyous New year, my Sparkling friends!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}

Why I'm Still Here... my SparkJourney Saga

No more Mrs. Doubtfire... or Picture UPDATE at nearly 100 lbs. ELIMINATED!

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Losing a Lot of Weight

How I Am Eliminating 'EXCESS Weight'

CICO Shove Off! 'New Kid on the (Nutritional) Block' Hits Mainstream

(ponder this some and you come to see this SPARKjourney in a whole new light)

EDITED to ADD (12 hours later): I've just had a lightbulb moment! The more I examine these pictures, the more comfortable I get with myself, and this dress... with the idea of ME at this stage in the process. I think this may be a success strategy I (ANYONE) can use at various points on the journey. Try on new clothes, different styles/colours/fabrics, take pictures and really EXAMINE them. I've been doing just that and imagining the woman in the pictures above dancing, and moving around the room at the wedding, and I'm getting not only excited about wearing the dress out, but comfortable and CONFIDENT about my choice. Just living with the pictures is eliminating my self-consciousness, and erasing the old pictures in my head.

Food for thought....

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You look nice and happy. I can't remember how long it's been since I considered wearing a dress. I'm all pants all the time, much to my detriment during the humid summer!
    956 days ago
    It's a lovely dress and you look radiant in it!
    I think you can wait to resume your weightloss effort. You once told me it was time and energy consuming to be in that mode and you were right. I think you can wait until you feel ready to tackle that new challenge.
    Just the other day I was going crazy and wanted to start P90X... I bought it but never got to start it because just thinking I had to to the videos, I felt exhausted. So I understood I wasn't ready YET to to the videos. I will in due time. I felt that if I had pushed to do the program, I would have put the table to fail.
    Now, you keep pushnig, trying and sparking, you got this!
    1109 days ago
    I think you and the dress are lovely. I'm glad you added the update!

    To answer your question about the last 30 pounds or so. I was in a position where I was very healthy a few years ago. I lost 110 pounds over 3 years but still had 25 or so to get me into a healthy BMI. Well even though I felt and looked good I pushed, and pushed for almost a year. I never did lose that weight and it backfired on me, I burned myself out and ended up gaining the weight back in about a year. Ugh. That is where I am now. Looking back at those pictures I always looked tired and my eyes sunken. Not good. Now when I get to a good place again, that I can maintain I am going to stick it out there.
    Not sure if that is best for you, but I thought I'd share.

    1110 days ago
    You look gorgeous!!
    1113 days ago
    I love the dress! Congrats on maintaining that weight loss too!
    1113 days ago
  • LINDA!
    Keep it. You look fabulous in the stole and without the stole. You worked so hard to get to this point. Enjoy it and flaunt it. emoticon
    1114 days ago
  • BERRY4
    Part of the challenge in maintaining is "waiting" and letting your body resonate with it's "new" norm! I would think a good year to allowing your body to "rejuvenate or restore" to all the healthier changes to every single part of you will allow the brain to say, "ah, this is how the body should be functioning!" -- And changing set point (if you believe there is that?!) takes time to settle in at a far different level.
    As to the dress...LOVE the curves! emoticon ...which are YOU! Celebrate and dance away.!
    Black stockings were my first thought, but then again, they may give the sense of "hiding"--all in black. (Ask your Mr. what he thinks when you try on the black ones with the dress.) emoticon

    Have a blast! Congrats on finishing the year well and getting ready to both anticipate and relish a New Year!!
    emoticon {{{ HUGS!! }}}
    1114 days ago
    Love it!!! I think black sheer hose would definitely sex it up. Enjoy because YOU are the sparkle!
    1114 days ago
    Definitely a keeper! When you described it as feeling like a long tshirt, that said it all. You need to be comfortable, while looking elegant, and it sounds like this dress accomplishes both.

    And that stole...MR did good!!
    1114 days ago
    This is a great blog. The dress is lovely and elegant. I believe I have read that your approach - getting used to that huge weight loss and processing all the other factors around it are the key to true continued success. Have a wonderful New Year's
    1114 days ago
  • no profile photo BARB5454
    You look mah-velous! Congratulations on the weight loss and the little black dress, too. You deserve every sparkle on it ;-). Cheers!
    1114 days ago
    Hahaha.....60's diva successfully channelled!! You look FAB-U-LOUS. I personally like sheer black hose too (seeing as you asked), but natural looks great too.

    " I seem to need to rest in my current accomplishment, rather than focus on what is not yet done." You asked if noone else has ever felt this because you've never heard anyone else talk about feeling this way. I think this may be because not many of us get to the point of losing 100 pounds, and if we do we're too bust trying not to put it all back on again. I think it's unusual to be able to sit comfortably at a new weight without losing or gaining, and I think it's remarkable you've been able to do this for so long. I think that bodes well for your future maintenance if you ever do decide to shed more or else remain as you are. Whatever you do decide to do you've certaining achieved an amazing thing, and look stunning.

    Hope you thoroughly enjoy yourself on New Years'. emoticon emoticon
    1114 days ago
    Wow! YOU LOOK FABULOUS. Mr. is right! You SPARKLE! I used to love dressing up, too. It does take time to get the MENTAL picture of us in line w/reality with a big weight loss. It has been almost 6 yrs. for me of weight loss maintenance and sometimes the mind slips back into not being "real" about my body.

    Feeling healthy is worth EVERYHTHING!

    You are an inspiration.
    1114 days ago
    Oh My Gosh look how cute you are! You look great in that dress and the fact that it is fancy and comfortable is such a great bonus! The stole is so pretty with it too. I vote for keeping it! You look fantastic!
    1114 days ago
  • KNH771
    Somehow my subscription to your blog got erased. What a great surprise to stumble on it again this morning. I love the dress with the sparkle. It's sophisticated, and the stole is a nice touch. I like it best in the picture with it to the side.

    As to taking a break to work on maintenance, I think that is a wonderful idea. I completely understand that feeling of discombobulation that you get when you look in the mirror after losing a significant amount of weight. I think it takes your brain much longer to adjust than your body. I also think that you need practice to maintain for any length of time. It's a different skill set than losing weight.

    Congratulations on your success with your health this year!
    1114 days ago
  • JUSTME29
    That is a really pretty dress and it looks great on you. When you shop with your daughter another dress may jump out and grab you, but I hope you don't feel like you "have" to find something because that one looks really great. Plus, comfy is a bonus.
    1114 days ago
    Keeper! You look wonderful and the dress is comfortable too? Score!!!

    Honestly, I really like the "Knock it off and take the dang picture already face" photo of you. Glad you shared it.

    I love the story of your experience delighting in the fur coats as a little girl.

    Congratulations on your accomplishment and, do give yourself the time ... to... simply be (without judgement)... Trust yourself!
    1114 days ago
    You look WONDERFUL: so elegant!! I find myself that unless my outfit is COMFORTABLE (and that pretty pretty sparkly dress is also soft and comfortable) I can never really feel my best.

    What an accomplishment!! Give yourself credit, big time! (or, in this case, much smaller time!!)
    1114 days ago
    You look beautiful, you do out shine the tree. You are absolutely wearing the dress, and it looks lovely on you. A classic with some fun...a little sparkle never hurts. It is you. LOVE! No stop overthinking and simply enjoy the fact that you look smashing!

    Loved this blog and your message. Losing 100 pounds in a year and living to tell the tale, amazing. So many truths and nuggets of wisdom here, more than anything I just love reading what you write to get a sense of you. Much to learn, you do a mighty job of leading by example!

    Blessings to you, may the new year ahead hold that which brings you happiness and joy!
    1114 days ago
  • LORI3679
    You look amazing!
    1114 days ago
  • EISSA7
    The dress and stole are lovely together....awesome choice! You look fabulous!!!
    Congrats on such an amazing weight loss accomplishment.....as you continue to follow your healthy habits
    in maintenance, you will become comfortable in your new skin.
    1114 days ago
    You look great, and the dress is very pretty - for me it would be a Keeper for sure!

    emoticon to your amazing weight loss success and to maintaining your weight.
    It may take several months to get used to your new weight, so it is a smart idea to settle in and take some time before deciding whether to lose more weight or not.

    I have seen good discussions about final goal, body image and self acceptance in the At Goal and Maintenance + Transitioning to Maintenance team, here are a few - you might like them : )

    Declaring Maintenance

    Optical Illusion


    1114 days ago
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