Power walking with my dog the other day, I felt every jiggle of my reemerging Little Miss Muffin Top (how I didn’t miss you!) and a panic I haven’t felt in several years set in: Get this fat off me NOW!
I’ve learned a thing or two about weight loss these last six years, namely that there is no quick fix (duh) and that it will take time (double duh) and that I need to appreciate who I am right here and now, muffin top and all, if I’m going to be successful.
So I went searching for help, like I always do, in the blog-o-sphere. Wise people out there, as you know. First up, DietGirl, who I’m so very sad I won’t get to meet at FitBloggin’. My Jeep needs new tires and a fancy oil change or it won’t pass inspection. Ergo, I can’t afford to go. *tear* If you or anyone you know wants to attend FitBloggin’ and is looking for a half-price ticket (part of my Lynn Needs New Tires fund), shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyway, back to DietGirl and her recent blog, “New Year Goals Check-In: April,” in which she outlines what I define as a kind of Self Bill of Rights. One thing she wrote really struck a chord, especially in light of my recent interview on Two Fit Chicks and A Microphone:
“The thought of having to be ‘hardcore’ for the rest of your life was just totally depressing, quite frankly. But I’ve been thinking about it and I reckon what I’ve been doing this year is sustainable and realistic – healthy but not hardcore…I feel so peaceful and positive right now, and a helluva lot happier than I did when I got to my so-called Happy Weight a few years ago.”
Sustainable and realistic; healthy but not hardcore. Hmmm….
Then there’s Sandrelle, who blogs at Keeping it OFF! She, too, is one of my weight-loss heroes. We share many things in common regarding how we lost weight and in our philosophy of weight maintenance. Like me, she’s gained a bit from her lowest weight and feels…well…blah. As she posted on Lynn’s Weigh on Facebook: “I’m also up a few pounds, around 140, and NOT happy because it’s not me. It doesn’t feel like me.”
Doesn’t feel like me. Hmmm…
Finally, BFF 40-Something’s Shelley posted this week about being angry that she didn’t appreciate her body when it was at a weight she realizes was probably her “happy weight.” She just didn’t know it until it was gone.
Shelley wrote: “I truly did not appreciate how good I looked last summer. Don’t get me wrong – I was thrilled with fitting into the size 6 Bermuda shorts, but did I focus on that? No – I couldn’t stop seeing my extra belly flab…WHY didn’t I appreciate my body then? I’ll tell you why…decades of dieting. Never having the inner strength to say ‘I like how I look and feel now’ – never quite standing up for myself.
“I am so mad. I just want to go back and say ‘You dope! Enjoy what you’ve achieved!’ and I know that I’m not showing self-love, but so what. Sometimes I need a reality check.”
I like how I look and feel now. Hmmm…
So the three points I’m pondering in my continued search for body acceptance are: 1) What is sustainable and realistic; healthy but not hardcore; 2) Why does this extra weight not feel like me; and 3) How do I get to the place where I like how I look and feel in the moment?
I used to be hardcore. Worked out so dang hard I didn’t have my period for 3½ years (see “To Weigh Or Not To Weigh…”). Then my body started falling apart and I had to back off the 90-minute marathons at the gym. But in the last several months I’ve more than backed off. My exercise routine has gone from tsunami to a nearly dried up creek bed. Granted, it’s been a rough few months, but it’s time I…(click on the video)
Somewhere in me exists a balance between Hardcore Lynn and I-Don’t-Feel-Like-It Lynn. I’ve not thought about what is realistic for me and what my body can take in terms of exercise. Therefore, my plan is to sit down with myself and conduct an inventory of what I realistically can do in light of my limitations. I can walk, I can ride my bike, and I can do modified strength training using the exercises my physical therapist prescribed last year.
The tricky part of this inventory, however, is learning to accept my limitations without throwing in the towel. I will establish exercise goals and find the strength and tenacity (which I know are in me somewhere) to reach these goals. Sustainable and realistic, healthy not hardcore.
Next, why doesn’t this added weight feel like me? Considering I’ve been overweight or obese most of my adult life, you’d think I’d not feel like myself at any weight, and yet at 132 I felt at one with myself. Nothing flapped around much, I liked how my body looked in any type of clothing, I felt…healthy. This added weight, particularly around my stomach, doesn’t feel healthy. Having said that, and considering point #1, is it realistic that – given my physical limitations – I will be 132 again without living on 1200 calories a day?
Which leads me to point #3.
If I’m going to accept where I am right now and love the me and the extra pounds (and realistically lose what I can), I first need to understand why I’m not accepting where I am right now and why I don’t love the me and the extra pounds.
The first word that comes to mind is “failure.” I feel like I’ve failed. Failed myself, failed my family, failed my blog readers. Looking the way I do now, with a bit more weight (which I know is hardly noticeable to most people, but I see me naked every day), I want to hide in t-shirts and shy away from being touched for fear someone will “feel” the real me. I’m this close to saying, “Weight, you win! I’m crawling back in that fat hole again. I give up.”
However…like Shelley, I’m going to stand up for myself and try a little tough self-love first:
“Lynn, you worked damned hard to lose 170 pounds. Don’t you DARE start gaining it all back. No food is going to comfort you; it will only bring you down. You KNOW how to say ‘No’ to yourself. Remember how you used to ask yourself, “How will I feel 5 minutes after I eat ____?” Yeah, well, chicka…make that your mantra AGAIN. Now. Not tomorrow. Today. You want medjool dates? Fine, but one will suffice. Same goes for all your other favorites. Go back to the beginning. Read your blogs. Remember how it felt at 250, 200, 170, 150. You can do it, Lynn. You really can.”
At least, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…