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A Portrait of Obesity

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Monday, October 10, 2016

This morning, on a whim, I decided to look at my BMI. I am a 5'7" woman who now weighs 210 pounds.(That makes me obese) I have super pale skin, light blue eyes, golden blonde hair and very light freckles on my arms. If you looked at a typical day in my life, it would look something like this... I wake up at 6:30 am. I shower, get dressed, make some oatmeal and black coffee and jump in the car to go to work. I eat my oatmeal and drink my coffee as I drive to work, often singing along to songs on the radio. I arrive to work usually a little bit before 8:30. I am an elementary school teacher. I check my email, I run around making copies. I'm not a regular classroom teacher. My job is to provide interventions for kids who aren't performing at the same level as their peers. Throughout the day, I go from class to class picking up kids and walking them back to my little room. I'm always on my feet and my fitbit tells me that I tend to get 6,000-8,000 steps during the school day. Between groups, I stop and grab a quick lunch, often at my desk while I catch up on something or another. For the sake of ease, I tend to eat the same thing every day: greek yogurt, a granola bar, and an apple. By this point I'm probably also filling up my water bottle for the umpteenth time. I tend to drink 100 ounces or more everyday. In fact, I tote both a 32 oz and a 24 oz Nalgene bottle full of water in my work bag every day, just in case I get caught up in something and can't get to refill one of the bottles. My afternoon is jam-packed as I teach everything from first grade phonics to 5th grade math. By the time the last kids' voices filter out of the halls, I am typically doing a little extra planning or paper work. Somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30, I decide to head for home. When I get home, I usually have a few minutes before my husband gets there (depending on what shift he is working) So, I work on some chore (laundry, dishes, straightening up the clutter, random stuff) before starting dinner. A typical dinner for us is chicken and veggies. Occasionally we go out. Sometimes we drink beer with our dinner. We might sit and watch TV for a while before bed, while my husband works on homework for his MBA. Other days, we make a run out to the gym to get in half an hour of cardio before bed. Usually our cats are pestering us for attention by the time we get home in the evening, unless they are too busy bothering each other. It's a happy life, overall.

We've built this life and routine over the past year and a half. Also, over the past year and a half, I have put on 30 pounds. How? I don't really know. I blame our vacations and beer. However, I don't really feel obese despite what the numbers say. I feel overweight, sure, but not more than other people I know. I have my issues with stretch marks and all, but I feel pretty normal. I'm still strong and capable. Here is a very honest snapshot of what I look like right now. When I look in the mirror, I don't always love what I see. I know I'm bigger than I used to be, but I don't feel unattractive.

What I really am is....

A wife who tries really hard to keep things as happy as possible for a husband who is sometimes super stressed out by his current job.

A daughter to two loving parents.

A granddaughter who is lucky enough to still have two living grandparents.

A sister who misses her sisters who all live at least three hours away.

An aunt to 4 adorable little children.

A proud, and sometimes annoyed mama to two little fur babies

A woman who is yearning for the day when she'll get to mother children of her own.

A woman who hiked Mount Washington this summer.

A woman who danced literally all night at my cousin's wedding.

A woman who loves reading, singing, history, making baby quilts, dancing in the kitchen, traveling to new places and visiting old favorites.

I am so much more than an obese woman. I am more than a number on the scale.
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  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
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    1531 days ago
    A great blog
    1622 days ago
    Thanks for sharing! I'm 5'6" and 204 and getting below 184 is my "no longer obese forever" number. Yes, I'm overweight, but really are we obese? Other than the beer, it sounds like you eat quite healthily and a pretty active! Way to have the courage to post the selfies!
    1637 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15282859
    Awesome outlook and btw you look great!! Keep up the positive!! emoticon
    1639 days ago
    YES you ARE!! emoticon
    1640 days ago
    Wow - you are one amazing lady! And you are much more than your weight, for sure. Thank you for the job you do - it is so much needed, and the kids are so worth it!
    1640 days ago
    you look beautiful. if that's what obese looks like then I wanna be that. I WAS 5'7 but now at the age of 42, I've shrunk down to 5'6. I am morbidly obese at 402 pounds. and my weight, although hinders me sometimes, doesn't define me either. I have a long ahead of me, but I'm finally ready to give it my all.
    1643 days ago
    OMG-what a super sweetheart you are! I would snag you up as a BFF dang quick! I am so glad to hear you recognize all the beautiful qualities you possess! While it's wonderful to strive to become better, we, as women, get way too caught up in how we look and we truly are so much more than that. While my profession is as a CPT/CES and I am constantly judged on looks (and I work hard on them, especially now at 56 yrs. old), I have struggled with bulimia and binge eating for almost 40 years. I have a blog that I've worked on over the last year, chronicling my struggle to overcome it, along with photos taken every 2-3 months, and this has been one of the greatest tools I have ever used to help me make progress. Maybe you will find something that resonates with you, if you should choose to take a look. This is a link to the most current blog and while it is a bit on the serious side, there are 52 entries in total to-date and some are just funny-humor is extremely healing and being able to laugh at ones' self is also therapeutic. Wishing you success on your journey, I hope we stay in touch!

    1643 days ago
  • MKAROL209
    You are wonderful. ❤️😎😀
    1643 days ago
  • LIZZIE138
    You forgot something in your list. You are a wonderful woman.
    1643 days ago
    Well said, great job and thanks for sharing!
    1644 days ago
  • AMBER461
    Very nice blog, I love the way you go about doing your evening chores when you reach home and still go to the gym for a half of an hour. Thanks for sharing.
    1644 days ago
    you certainly are a strong positive women and much more than a number on the scale. great blog, thank you emoticon emoticon
    1645 days ago
    this is SO awesome. I'm almost , well honestly I *did* tear up when I saw your bikini shot, and I smiled with those tears, because I immediately saw a strong confident beautiful woman. You had this pose that said all that. That is SO awesome. You are. You are telling the world back who you are, and saying NO, THIS is who I am. I love it. :) Wow. I took a just Sports bra & pants shot last week of myself (and was still debating with doing a blog with it!!) and didn't rock the same confidence you do!!! I just saw my lack of confidence! Truly this is INCREDIBLE, you! It is STILL a goal of mine to be this comfortable with my body. You embrace and love your body and see the beauty in it, in yourself to such an incredible, glorious, and FREEING degree which is beyond marvelous. Its freaking AWESOME!!!! SO proud of you girl!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Lol...I know I'm like raining a glory parade here, but really it is, because it comes from a person who has hated herself for most of her life. And, okay I've come a long way (from hating myself! finding things first to love myself and then growing upward :D , but I suddenly realize last week,from that picture incidient to seeing I'm still on that journey!) I have the roots of "love", but still growing...Thank you for this post, for inspiring, for breathing courage & hope to me & so many others...and LOVE on being WHO we are as we are, and acknowleding all the beauty we have NOW, all the beauty we ARE! thank you SO much!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1645 days ago
  • ORANGE81
    what a great blog. I have a love hate relationship with my scale! I am surprised when the weight goes up and I don't think I eat different. I put over 24 pounds on in a year and a half it stinks to have to start over but I am learning. Funny how everyone looks so different when you just look at height vs weight.
    1645 days ago
  • DALID414
    I needed this. I got my health report from my last doctors visit (for an eye infection) and they kindly let me know my bmi is "higher than it should be" and I let it get to me, of course.
    1647 days ago
    This is all so true!
    1647 days ago
    I so agree with you. What and who we are is truly our actions, thoughts, and feelings. Not the number on the scale. Life is to enjoy and if possible make a positive difference in this world. You are a success.
    1647 days ago
    1647 days ago
  • no profile photo NONNAOF2
    I love your attitude and your lovely family! You would be surprised how beer can put the weight on! Perhaps get a glass of sparkling water with a lemon or lime twist instead? You are gorgeous outside as well as inside! Being positive and having a loving family, plus a couple of fur balls always makes one's day! Keep up the good work! :-)
    1647 days ago
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    1647 days ago
    Very well said!!! Woo Hoo you!!

    1647 days ago
    emoticon emoticon we are so much more than our weight on the scales. emoticon
    1647 days ago
    1647 days ago
    You certainly don't look like you weigh as much as the scale shows you so I bet you have a lot of muscle. The BMI probably isn't showing a good number because of that. Keep doing healthy things and you'll stay healthy. I read that being in the 'overweight' on the weight charts actually has a longer life span and isn't that what we want. thanks for sharing.
    1647 days ago
    You are all of those things and so much more to all of us for sharing!
    1647 days ago
  • GLORYB83
    What a beautiful woman you are, inside and out! And what an awesome, happy life you have.

    The scales do not tell all, never have and never will. You rock, girl!
    1647 days ago
  • MYTURN19
    What a fantastic outlook you have
    Thank you for reminding us what is important.
    1647 days ago
  • CGPS1795
    You look great! What a terrific blog. I'm grappling with a lot of the same issues, but from the male perspective. I really like that you named so many of the NSV's (non scale victories). emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1647 days ago
    You look great! We are the same height and weight, but you look MUCH better than I do. Keep up the good work!
    1647 days ago
  • E19379
    Good luck in your journey. I would say you look healthy to me but then I would kill to be as skinny as you look in your picture. Maybe one day. Anyway I just wanted you to know that the obese word is taboo in our house. Your weight is what it is, you are working on it and you are the only one that can decide how you feel about it. Others cannot define who you are.
    1647 days ago
    Don't let the scale get you down. You're a very capable and caring woman with some of the best things in life around you. It's hard to get past the scale but you know you're doing good work...being a teacher/sister/etc. emoticon is what you are!!
    1647 days ago
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    1647 days ago
    Thanx for posting! Loved to learn about you! :) Keep up the good work!
    1647 days ago
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    1647 days ago
    yes you are! emoticon emoticon
    1647 days ago
    You are very fortunate with all you are! The weight seems to be bothering you, so you have come to the right place. Our typical sounds pretty...well typical as far as eating goes, and you're getting plenty of movement and water from the sounds of it. What helped me...and I am an itinerant Speech Language Pathologist in schools...was logging in the food to see what and where I could make changes. I am now at my target weight and looking to drop a little more, but not much. You can do this too!
    1647 days ago
    First off, YOU LOOK AWESOME! I love all the photos. However it can be frustrating when the scale is not going where you think it should be. Have you tried tracking everything that you eat and drink in a day? For a week or two? I know it sounds tedious but sometimes tracking can really help to identify where the calories are - that you don't even notice. Best wishes!
    1647 days ago
    I gained 30 pounds with a teaching life much the same as yours. Someone mentioned stress.
    Yes, our jobs are stressful. No, I didn't HAVE to lose the weight. Everyone said I could "carry it" and I was healthy and fit. All very true, but I sure didn't need those extra pounds either. I was healthy and fit before the weight gain and my body is much happier not dragging it around.

    Good luck to you and enjoy your life!
    1647 days ago
  • no profile photo SHARONCAPPS
    How right you are. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    1647 days ago
    YOu are a wonderful person!! And I can see that the # on the scale bugs you. Swap the granola bar for some veggies--carrots, broc, cauliflower--see if that makes any difference.
    1647 days ago
  • ROX525
    Great attitude. You are beautiful and more than a number on a scale.
    1647 days ago
    1648 days ago
    Love your blog. very upbeat!
    1648 days ago
    Great attitude! I think the BMI is a tad off....if I ever got to where they think I should be, I think it would be unhealthy. I am in the high end of the over weight BIN and aiming for the low end, which I think will be my healthy weight. Continue to enjoy your one precious life.
    1648 days ago
    Try this: Go a week without drinking beer. Not that alcohol is in any way evil, but when I stopped drinking beer in the evenings and made NO other changes, I dropped 9 pounds in a very short time. (I drink unsweetened fruity seltzer water to substitute for the filling fizz.)

    Then I started drinking wine, and gradually more wine, and the weight climbed again. Now I only have wine when I am eating at a restaurant, maybe once a week, and only 1 or 2 glasses. I have made other changes in this journey, and I have a longer way to go than you do to be at a healthy place, but I tihnk you may be surprised at the difference losing the beer makes. (You won't want to drink it when you begin your "momhood," so why not give it a try now? Couldn't hurt, right?)
    1648 days ago
  • SWEETPEA1399
    Love this blog! Thank you so much for posting this, as I needed to see this today! I love your positive outlook on life emoticon ! Truly inspiring.
    1648 days ago
    Great blog post! Come on over to the Moderation Team page and chat sometime. You're already realistic and mindful of your situation and your goals and that's half the battle. Keep up the good work. emoticon
    1648 days ago
    you are awesome and I am glad you reminded us we are more than a number on the scale. emoticon
    1648 days ago
  • MARTHA324
    Wow! Reading what your day is like makes me tired. Sounds like you have a busy and full life filled with people who love you. emoticon
    And I love that you don't bash yourself; you look great.

    Speaking from experience however (started this last time at 5'8" and 226 lbs) the weight can keep creeping up and personally I wanted to stop it before it got even higher. When I started I just did little things, like walking around the office building before I went in, taking a 10 mins walk after lunch. Started bringing my lunch and gradually added more veggies. If you want to make some changes, you'll get plenty of usually information here. What can do what works for YOU.
    1648 days ago
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