This weekend I said goodbye to the fat girl that I have been for such a very long time. On Wed. I weighed 190.6 which took me out of the obesity range and into the “overweight” range. It has been over a year since I left the obesity range and unfortunately, I did not stay there very long. This time will be different. This time there is no turning back. I have so much more knowledge now than I did a year ago, and especially 2 years ago when I hit the 180’s for the first time.
I started my weight loss journey in August of 2010. I weighed 267 lbs and I was miserable. I won’t go into the details though, of what it was like for me then compared to what it is like for me now. I am saving that for my 100 lbs. lost blog, which for the first time in God only knows how long, I finally have the confidence to say that I KNOW it is only a matter of time before I post it.
What I want to focus on in this blog, is how different I am now then I was 2 years ago, when I exited obesity for the first time. I want to talk about that girl. I want to talk about how different she and I are. Our weights are only 1.7 lbs apart, and she was the one on the lower end. She weighed 186.2, you can see pictures of her all over my sparkpage, but let me tell you something about her. I hate to say this, because she worked so hard to get down to 186.2 lbs, but the truth of the matter is that she was a fat girl. She was a fat girl at 186.2, so you can imagine how ginormous she must have looked when she started gaining weight and got all the way back up to 214.2 lbs.
She wrote an 80 lbs lost blog, and she wrote a blog about getting to shop in the misses department for the first time ever. To read her words, and see her smile slapped on all of these pictures, you would think that she really had this weight loss thing down. You would think that she was someone who was really happy, and had this thing licked. People looked up to her. She got voted as a spark people motivator. She looked like she had a lot going for her.
However, you don’t know what I know. You don’t know that in her eyes, she still saw herself as the fat girl. You don’t know that right next to all of her brand new size 12 clothes, she still had all of her size 18 clothes hanging up. She never got rid of them. She was afraid to. Way down deep in the back of her mind, she must have known that she was going to need them again, because she could not bear to give them to goodwill, like she normally did when she had old clothes that didn’t fit anymore.
That girl, that fat girl, was doing so many things wrong and she was doing them for the wrong reason. She was sabotaging herself and she had no clue. She was SO HUNGRY ALL OF THE TIME. She thought about food constantly. Why? Because she was restricting too much. She was afraid of food, so there were so many things she never got to eat. So she would sit around and pine for food like men and women pine for their lovers. The chocolate cake that got brought in to work would mess up her whole day. She would say “no” to a piece, and feel good about it, but all day long she would fantasize about that cake. It had been so long since she let herself have any. Not only was she afraid of food and would not allow herself to eat many of the foods she wanted to, she did not eat enough. She worked out, A LOT. She worked out hard. She did not realize though, that her body was going into starvation mode. She could never understand why she would gain weight at the drop of a hat, when she was burning off so many calories, and only eating 1400 to 1600 calories a day. The problem was, that since she had so many days that she burned off 800 to 1000 calories, that was a deficit of 400 to 800 calories. We all know that a person can not possibly live off of 400 to 800 calories a day. However, because she was at a deficit like that almost daily, that is exactly what she was doing. She was starving herself. She was sabotaging her weight loss efforts and she did not even know it.
Another thing about her (poor thing, I am telling all of her secrets today), is that even though she started her weight loss journey for the right reasons, somewhere along the way she lost sight of things. She shifter her focus off of health and it being a lifestyle change, and was trying to lose weight at a much more rapid pace, because she was dating a real pig at the time, who made it obvious to her, that she was not where she needed to be. He made man comments like “You are going to be so hot when you get down to your goal weight” or “That is great that you lost X amount of pounds. When you lose X more I will be able to pick up over my shoulder and carry you off to the bedroom.”
This girl had lost over 80 lbs, and she was still fat. She knew she was still fat, and therefore chose men to date that saw her that way also. She could not really truly celebrate how far she had come, because in her eyes she still had so far to go. She was so flawed. She would hear him say things like that and think “How embarrassing that I am too fat for him to pick up.” She only dated him for a couple of weeks but if you ask me, that was a couple of weeks too long. He confirmed all of her suspicions for her. He brought to the table all the inadequacies she was always reminding herself of. It did not matter that she had lose over 80 lbs. She was still fat. She was not good enough. She would never be good enough. She used to be a size 24, and now she was a size 12, and she could not even celebrate that because she was hungry, and scared, and tired ALL the time.
She eventually stopped seeing that guy, who she tried to lose weight extra fast for (this is why she did not stay in the 180’s for long. She lost 7 lbs in 1 week doing slimfast shakes, starving her body, on top of 8 and 10 mile runs and as soon as she stopped seeing him, she lost the motivation to try to live off slimfast shakes. Started eating food again, she stopped running (he was never her motivation for running, but she was so burnt out on it all she kind of gave up on everything at once) and she started to put on the weight at an amazing pace. She eventually ate her way back up to 214.2 lbs, and I am sure it is no surprise to you that she ended up wearing the hell out of all of those size 18 clothes that she would never let herself throw away.
Anyway, that is her story. I guess I should shut my piehole about the fat girl and start telling you about ME. Let me tell you about this Shelby girl. She is 50 shades of freaking awesome. She is a force to be reckoned with. Like the fat girl, she is a size 12, she is in the 180’s, and she runs 8 to 10 miles, but let me tell you, this girl fills me with amazement. I have not known her for very long. It has actually only been a few months that I have really gotten to know her. She fell in love, got married, was separated before the ink on the marriage certificate was even dry, had her heart broken, and her spirit broken, and to be honest, she was hanging on by the skin of her teeth. She was almost broken. That man almost broke her. He did not though. As soon as she got married things got really bad between her and her husband, and she started REALLY putting her energy into her weight loss. She started running again after taking a 1.5 year hiatus. She learned all about BMR and how your body reacts when you are starving it, and so she allowed herself to start eating a lot more calories. Sometimes she would even eat well over 2000 calories, and sometimes she would even eat after midnight, and guess what? She would still have a loss on the scale, even after eating a pack of peanut butter crackers at 3 am.
She learned to start listening to her body. She learned that those nights that she would wake up at 3 am starving and needing to eat a pack of crackers had nothing to do with late night binge eating. It was because she did not eat as much as she was supposed to the night before.
One of her biggest successes to this day is that she no longer has to track her food. She usually only tracks her food for weight loss challenges, but she always reads nutrition content info on the foods she eats so that she is aware of what she is eating. She makes better choices like eating higher protein foods, since that is where she often lacks nutritionally. But what really blows her mind, is that she has learned to trust her instincts about food. She has learned to listen to her body. If it tells her that it is hungry, she feeds it. Even late at night. She has learned the difference between actual hunger, and mindless eating.
She started allowing herself to eat pizza, or chicken wings, or even McDonald’s when she wanted it. She eats a half serving of snickers almost every single day and she has a long term relationship with peanut butter, and she is still losing weight. Because she eats whatever she wants, whenever she wants, she never has episodes of binge eating anymore. She turns down donuts, and apple pie, and cupcakes at work all the time. She said no to chocolate cake a few weeks ago, and guess what? She did not spend all day fantasizing over it. The thing is she knew that she COLUD eat the cake if she wanted to. Somehow just knowing that it was okay if she ate the cake, was enough to lose its power over her. She did not have to daydream about it because if she really wanted a piece she could have it. She loves chocolate cake and you better believe she will eat it again, but she will eat it on her own terms, when she has planned for it, and not when someone brings it in to work.
I guess you probably know by now that “she” is me. When I went to weigh in on Wed and hit below 191 I was thrilled to leave obesity. Wanting to make sure that it was not a fluke next day (Thursday) I weighed again and low and behold, I weighed 188.8. Today is Friday and this morning I weighed 187.8.
I may be considered “overweight” according to my BMI, but let me tell you something. “F” that. I look fine as hell in my size 12 jeans. My thighs are super strong and I have calves that could stop traffic if I was wearing my high heels and my mini jean skirt. I am strong and healthy and I don’t just walk from here to there, I freaking SAUNTER. I SASHAY. I walk with a damn swagger because I know I look good. I have earned the bragging rights to say so. I workout like a dog. I run until I feel like my legs are going to fall off. I have to PEEL off my workout clothes when I get off the elliptical or the stair master or get done running. I bring big ‘ol 32 ounce bottles of water to school and I drink those instead of 4 diet cokes. I bring my lunch to school (I am a long term substitute teacher, so when I say school I mean work) so I am always aware of exactly what I am eating at all times. I eat protein bars and greek yogurt and protein drinks to go aong with the other food I am eating so that I get a better balance of the foods that I need to eat. I eat a lot of calories, to compensate for the many calories that I burn. I never ever put my body into starvation mode. However, I also don’t allow the fact that I am burning 900 to 1300 calories in one workout, give me a license to overeat.
I eat until I am full.
I do not know when the last time was that I went hungry. I also don’t know when the last time was that I stuffed myself to the point of gluttony, feeling gross and ashamed afterwards.
I have found BALANCE, FINALLY, and it is such a gift. I know that much like the fat girl, who was only in the 180’s for a minute, I too will not be here for very long. However it is only because within the next 6 to 8 weeks I plan on being in the 170’s.
The other day, I cleaned out my closet and I did not just get rid of the size 18’s, I got rid of the size 16’s too. I can still wear my 14’s, so I have not thrown them out but they swallow me up. Pretty soon, I will have to get new pants to work in. I find myself checking out my own butt. Today the mirror is my friend. I know that even though I am 1.6 lbs heavier than the fat girl, and I wear the same pair of size 12 jeans that she did, that we could not be more different.
She was hungry all the time. I eat all the time so I am never hungry. She was too afraid to throw out her size 18 clothes. I would throw out my size 14 clothes if I could afford to buy new size 12 ones. She restricted the kind of foods she ate. I will eat WHATEVER the hell I want to. The only kind of foods that are on my “Do not Eat” list are foods like turnip greens and broccoli and cauliflower. She put extra energy into her weight loss efforts when it was too look good for a boy. I threw myself back into it because at a time when I thought I was going to fall apart, I found that taking care of myself FOR myself was my salvation.
With every mile I run and every pound I lose I feel absolutely ecstatic. The feeling of pride is worth more than any cat call a man could ever give me.
I love the fact that I am finally starting to love myself.
It took me a good three years on my weight loss journey before I really started to GET IT. I finally get it now. I am .8 lbs away from hitting the 80 lbs lost marker which makes me 20.8 lbs away from my 100 lbs lost mark and believe me when I tell you that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that within the next 6 months I will be writing that blog. I also know that I am going to get to a size 10 for the first time in my life since I was in high school. It is all coming together for me. My name is Shelby and I kick ass and take names and I don’t care how narcissistic that sounds, after decades of loathing myself, now that I finally love myself I want to shout it from the freaking rooftops. I called myself fat, heffer, cow, pig, disgusting, loser, gross, unlovable, glutton, nasty, and all kinds of things and I called myself that for tens of years. So I have no qualms at all about telling the world now that my but looks so good in my size 12 jeans that I check it out every time I walk by a mirror.
Since I could not afford new pants to replace all of my size 14’s that are swallowing me up, I went to Wal-mart and bought 2 new packs of size 7 panties and threw away a drawer full of size 9 panties. It was very liberating. I also signed up for my first ever half marathon on Thanksgiving Day. I have only made it to 10 miles twice in my life, and one of them was last Saturday (10.02) so I am a bit nervous, but I will be damned if I am not going to complete that half marathon, running the ENTIRE time, in the 3 hours I am allotted to do so. Then I am going to do something I thought I would only ever dream about. I will get a 13.1 magnet for my car and then the world will know every time I drive by them or they are stuck behind me in traffic or at a red light, that the girl in front of them is an honest to God runner. An athlete. A kick ass and take names kind of girl. That’s what’s up. BOOYAH!!!!!!
That fat girl knows better than to try and come visit me. She would not dare show up when I have all of the knowledge that I do right now. But I promise you, if I ever catch her trying to lurk about and take up space in my head…”Pssst….you know you really should get a size 2X in that t-shirt” ……I swear to God I will throat punch her.