Fat and Not Afraid

Respect and love are for EVERY body.

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A Foxy Epiphany

August 25, 2011

Carolyn, if you missed Tuesday's post, is F&NA's new co-blogger, taking over on Fridays. This is her first post. Trigger warning for diet & weight loss talk!

Seriously folks. It was epic. In my last several conversations with Michelle we have been discussing my desire to lose weight. This started because I scared the shit out of myself by hopping on a scale. Last time I was on a scale (probably back in May) I weighed around 340lbs. Granted that was the highest number I have ever seen on a scale. This time, the scale cheerfully displayed a whopping 370lbs. I wanted to kick it.

370lbs was a bit jarring to see. I mean, that's so close to 400. Let's just say it brought up a whole host of unwanted thoughts. The marvelous part about this, and to the credit of the work I have done with Michelle, I did not engage in any compulsive, restrictive, or dieting behavior. Sure I thought about it - - -but those thoughts stayed where they were suppose to. . .as thoughts and nothing more. Score 1 for team "don't destroy your body". ^_^

So here comes the epic epiphany part. Since I hopped on that scale, I had been ruminating about weight loss, weight loss surgery, diets, and numerous other ideas about my body and how it should look/feel. Then a few nights ago I was outside with the dogs, standing on the lawn in the moonlight, again thinking of "If only I lost 40 lbs, wouldn't I feel better? Walk better? Not have so much pain?" and then it hit me. No. No it wouldn't.

And here is why. Four years ago (prior to being diagnosed with hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia), I had gone on a strict diet in the Over Eaters Anonymous program called CEA-How. The diet resulted in my eating approximately 900-1,100 calories per day. I ate 3 meals per day, weighed and measured, with nothing in between but water. I wrote down my food plan (amounts and weights) and called in in to my sponsor every morning. I ate no sugar, flour, wheat, or any processed foods. I weighed 267 lbs at my lowest point and I felt enormous still. I looked in the mirror and saw fat. I felt fat. I thought "If only I could lose 40 lbs wouldn't I feel better? Walk better? Not so much pain?" I was obsessed with getting back to my high school weight that I idealized in my mind. Later I actually got a copy of my high school doctor records and found out that I weighed about 258 in high school. I weighed less than 10 lbs more than my high school weight (a time when I felt rather fit and sexy) and I still felt grotesque. I dreamed of the day that I could sit in a chair and pull my legs up, holding them in my arms. How funny that my goal and dream was to take up less space.

I realize I'm rambling, but I'm getting to my epiphany part - - - I never felt different. I don't feel different at 370 lbs than I did at 267 lbs. Only in my mind is there a difference. And I thought to myself, I would need to lose 190 lbs to get to the weight that my doctor recommended I should be at. But would I feel any different? I realized that I would not. Nor was I willing to give up the joy and freedom that I have gained with my work with Michelle. My inner fuzzy self wells up with tears at the thought of going back to the rigid, starvation rations that came with being 267 lbs.

So now, when I look in the mirror at my 370lb self, I am going to think "Look how much progress I've gained!! Look at the joy in my stomach! Look at the liberation of my ass! My god my arms are fricken brilliant! Fuck yeah!" The size of my body doesn't mean as much to me as how I feel living in it. And I am happier now than I have ever been before. And so my response to that voice in side my head that says I need to lose weight is "Stick this in your measuring cup, jackass!!" as I mentally give it the finger.

I sat in a chair, pulled my legs up and held them in my arms. It took a three attempts; I'm not as limber as I used to be. As a smaller fat, I can tell you that position is awkward at best, definitely uncomfortable. Sure, I could probably do that easier if I weighed 20 pounds less. It seems like a pointless goal. I wouldn't take a picture of myself in that position.

It's all perception. When I was in high school (sometime back in the Dark Ages) I was about 20 lbs thinner than my current 180, and recall feeling HUGE compared to all the small-boned teensy girls.
Now, I just feel ordinary, although I would give an arm to have the supple spine & limber legs of that long-gone teenager. (Accidents & illness have worked their evil ways on the body).
The body you feel comfortable & at home in is the body you want, no matter what it weighs or what it's capable of doing. Just keep it happy & it will continue to serve you well...and who knows, if you work it, those legs just might go sky high.

@ Carol - thank you for the feedback. That is exactly the point that I am hoping to get to -- feeling at home in my body regardless of the size. And I have had my legs go "sky high" a few times, but that usually involves me flailing around on the ground like an up-ended turtle after tripping over some air or something :)

@ Lillian - Thank you for the practical feedback about the curled up position. It's precisely that sort of perspective I think I lack when thinking about my body. I get some crazy fantasy in my head and hold that up on a pedestal no matter how strange or impractical. It's like that shiny new bobble that you crave and crave and obsess over, until you have it and realize it didn't really change anything.



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